CHICAGO (STMW) – The tips have slowed but two dozen investigators in southwest suburban Will County and Northwest Indiana continue to doggedly hunt for a killer.
There’s reason for hope, authorities say: Police have a vivid description of the gunman who killed 45-year-old Rolando Alonso on Oct. 5 and severely wounded two other men in attacks barely 40 minutes apart on either side of the state line.READ MORE: Chicago Weather Alert: Lake-Effect Snow On The Way With 6 To 8 Inches Possible In Some Areas; Winter Storm Warning Issued
Investigators also have three surviving witnesses from the two shootings to help identify the burly gunman, who talked about raising bees and obtaining construction supplies before opening fire.
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But the mistaken arrest of Lynwood Police Officer Brian Dorian on Oct. 8 sidetracked the investigation. The 37-year-old cop was charged with murdering Alonso, but then freed five days later after Will County authorities admitted they had arrested the wrong man.
Since then, despite sorting through hundreds of tips, authorities in Indiana and Illinois have little progress to show for their efforts.
“We’re getting a few calls, but for the most part, things have quieted down,” said Lessie Smith, deputy chief of the Lake County, Ind., sheriff’s department.
Police have followed more than 400 leads and tips since the shooting spree, but much about the gunman and the attacks remains unknown – including what may have prompted the shootings.
“We’re still trying to determine if it’s a random act,” said Pat Barry, a spokesman for Will County Sheriff Paul Kaupas.READ MORE: View Live Radar
The first shooting occurred about 10:30 a.m. as Alonso and two co-workers labored to repair a fire-damaged house near Beecher in rural Will County.
After pulling up in a 1990s-model light blue Chevrolet pickup truck, the gunman talked briefly about bees and construction supplies, then pulled a revolver and began firing.
Alonso, the father and stepfather of 10 children, died of a gunshot wound in the head, while a co-worker, 19-year-old Joshua Garza, also received a head wound, but survived. He remains hospitalized, authorities said. Another co-worker escaped uninjured by running into a cornfield. He later provided police with a description of the gunman.
Police barely had time to react before another shooting erupted about 45 minutes later outside Lowell, Ind.
Farmer Keith Dahl was shot and wounded by a burly, ballcap-wearing man in a pickup truck who stopped to chat before abruptly opening fire. Dahl, 63, was released from the hospital last week to continue recovering at his home, officials said.
Despite the detailed descriptions given by the survivors of the attacks, investigators haven’t identified any potential suspects.
“There’s nobody of interest yet,” Barry said.MORE NEWS: Two Men Shot Dead In Car In Ravenswood; Car Goes On To Crash And Catch Fire
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