The shooting death in September of a northern Illinois police officer that triggered a widespread manhunt has been ruled a suicide, the Associated Press reports. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office will announce the investigation’s “conclusive results” Wednesday.
On September 1st, Lieutenant Charles Joseph Gliniewicz of Fox Lake, a U.S. army veteran known as “G.I. Joe,” radioed that he was chasing three suspicious men on foot before backup officers found his body not far from his squad car, the AP reports. He had been shot twice: one round hit his ballistic vest and the other his upper chest.
There were signs of a struggle at the scene, the Chicago Tribune reports. Hundreds of officers began searching houses, cabins, and boats for the three suspects, who Gliniewicz describeed as two white men and a black man. No one was ever arrested.
(A couple weeks later, the Tribune reported, former Chicago police Officer Joseph Battaglia was charged with two counts of disorderly conduct after threatening two officials leading the investigation if they did not rule Gliniewicz’s death a suicide.)
Police said in October that Gliniewicz was shot with his own weapon, but authorities did not determine the manner of his death until now.
His family denies that this is possible, however. Gliniewicz’s son, D.J., told the AP his father “never once” thought of taking his own life, and described how the lieutenant was excited for retirement.