John Laco, 84, fatally shot by police in Lake Station, Ind.

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Three police officers fatally shot an 84-year-old man who fired a gun outside City Hall in Lake Station, Ind. (WLS)

Three police officers fatally shot an 84-year-old man who they said fired a gun outside City Hall in Lake Station, Ind.

Soon after John Laco fired a shotgun in the parking lot of the Lake Station municipal complex on Tuesday morning, three officers said they arrived to find him sitting in his car, pointing the 16-gauge shotgun barrel out of the window.

After being instructed to drop his weapon, police say Laco stepped out of the vehicle and pointed the weapon at the officers, who fired multiple times.

"Seven shots, plus like another three, then another two," said Jesus Ruiz, a witness.

"It's undetermined right now how many times he may have been shot by the police," said Bob Byrd, Northwest Indiana Major Crimes Task Force.

Some of those bullets pierced windows of the nearby library. About 15 people were inside the building, which was on lockdown for several hours.

Police are now interviewing relatives as they try to piece together Laco's motive. Authorities say he had no prior contact with police, but was in fact, rescued by Lake Station officers back in February when they spotted his house in flames. It was destroyed by an electrical fire.

A person who knows him says he stayed with her family in Portage a couple of months ago before looking for a new place. She lost contact with Laco, but says she is shocked by reports of what happened.

Police are also looking into reports that a gunshot was fired outside of the Lake Station mayor's house on Monday, and whether that may have any connection to this incident.

An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday.


Related Topics:
police shootingLake Station
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