JOLIET, Ill. — A suburban Chicago police officer has been arrested in connection with a series of shootings that killed one man and wounded two others.
Authorities say Lynwood Police Officer Brian Dorian, 37, of Crete is being held on $2.5 million bail after being arrested on a murder warrant Friday.
Investigators had been looking for a disheveled gunman who approached his victims Tuesday, asking them questions about honeybees or construction materials and then shooting them.
Dorian was arrested at his home and held at a Joliet jail, said Kathy Hoffmeyer, a spokeswoman for the Will County sheriff's department.
Dorian, a police officer in Lynwood, has been on medical leave with an injured shoulder since October 2009, said Eugene Williams, mayor of the village of about 7,400 people on the Illinois-Indiana border about 30 miles south of Chicago.
Williams did not have any other details but said he was told last week that Dorian would not be returning to duty soon. He said he knows the officer casually and, until Friday morning, knew of no problems with or concerns about him, other than his injured shoulder.
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Dorian's neighbor Robin Schmitz said Dorian never showed any signs of being "mentally unbalanced," and even as recently as Thursday, "he didn't seem freaked out at all" when she talked to him.
The officer told her then that he was going to a college reunion over the weekend and asked whether she would look after his house, she said. She added that he never talked about bees.
"I'm floored," she said of the shootings. "I don't believe he did it."
Gregory DeBord, a former Will County prosecutor, said Dorian was convicted of speeding in a fatal 2006 accident after his pickup truck hit a car driven by a 17-year-old boy. Dorian was driving more than 80 mph on a road where the speed limit was 55 mph and couldn't avoid the car when it pulled into his path, DeBord said.
The apparently random shootings began about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at a work site in Illinois and ended about an hour later across the state line on an Indiana farm.
One of the victims, Rolando Alonso, 45, of Hammond, Ind., was shot fatally in the head. He was working for a construction company near Beecher, Ill., when the gunman began a conversation, then started shooting.
Another worker, Joshua Garza, 19, of Dyer, Ind., was wounded. A third worker escaped into a cornfield.
Later on Tuesday morning, a farmer, Keith Dahl, 64, was wounded near Lowell, Ind.
Garza's great-aunt Peggy Cassoday of Rensselaer, told the Times of Munster that the suspect asked about scrap wood.
"(The shooter) says, 'What about this wood? What are going to do with it?' My nephew said, 'You can take whatever you want.' So the guy took four or five steps away from him, turned around and when Josh picked up the wheelbarrow to move it, the guy turned around and started shooting," Cassoday said.
"He was bent over," Cassoday said. "That was the only thing that saved his life."
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