Police release new sketch of two-state shooter

October 8, 2010 4:43:41 AM PDT
Police have released a new sketch of the suspect who allegedly went on a two-state shooting spree as the widow of a man killed in one attack talked for the first time about the shooting.

Authorities in Illinois and Indiana have created a bi-state task force to track down a gunman who has killed one person, and seriously wounded two others.

"We have reason to believe that he's here from our local community," said Sheriff Roy Dominguez, Lake County, Ind.

Authorities say the same revolver was likely used at both crime scenes. At the first one, a home near Beecher, Ill., the suspect killed 45-year-old Rolando Alonso, a father of nine on day two of a new construction job after being without full time work for a year.

"I ask why him, why him, because he was so -- he was a good man. He helped everybody, someone needs something, they just call Rolando and Rolando was always there," said Claudia Gonzalez, victim's widow.

The suspect also shot Alonso's colleague, 19-year-old Joshua Garza before heading to Lowell, Ind., where he shot 64-year-old farmer Keith Dahl, whom the shooter engaged in a conversation about honeybees.

"Basically we are checking out anything that occurred here recently where anybody even mentioned the word 'bee,'" said Sheriff Kaupas.

Investigators say they don't know if the shooter is still in the area, though no additional incidents have been linked to the suspect.

On Thursday morning schools in Lowell re-opened after being closed Wednesday, though many parents of bus riders opted to drive their kids to school.

"They got to get back to their daily routines and their activities. You know in this world you can't live afraid," said Ilara Grabarczyk, mother.

In addition to the new sketch, police have updated the suspect's description. They're now looking for a white, heavyset man in his 30s or 40s, 5'8" to 6' feet tall, weighing 230 to 250 pounds and wearing a green windbreaker, blue jeans, work boots and a baseball cap. He may be driving a 1995 to 1998 model light-colored pickup truck, possibly a Chevy Cheyenne with several items cluttering the cab.

"We're using all of our resources, every day, 24-7, to make sure we apprehend the suspect," said Dominguez.

Meanwhile, Claudia Gonzalez is grieving the loss of a family member once again. She also lost a son to violence in 2009.

Gonzalez, whose son died in 2009 after being beaten in a case that remains unsolved, said she is praying the man who killed her husband will be captured quickly.

"It's hard to believe that he's not here either," she said. "First, it was my son. Now, it's my husband. It's too much. It's too much for me, but I know God's going to give me the strength. And I have to think about my little ones. Their daddy is not here."

Gonzalez says that the last words her husband said to her were, "I love you," hours before he was shot and killed.


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