Hobart police identify suspect in shooting near mall

Hobart and Lake County sheriff's police investigate a shooting Monday outside the Firestone Complete Auto Care business at Southlake Mall. A man was shot at a stop sign near the Olive Garden, and his vehicle came to rest against the Firestone.

Jonathan Miano, The Times

HOBART — Police said they are pursuing charges against a 35-year-old man suspected of shooting another man in the face Monday on a road near Southlake Mall.

Hobart police also suspect a black 1998 Ford F-150 used during the shooting may have been abandoned in the area and asked that residents check their neighborhoods. The truck had a license plate number of TK695NDN, police said.

Police were working with the Lake County prosecutor's office to file charges Wednesday or Thursday, Lt. James Gonzales said. The Times is not identifying the suspect because an arrest warrant has not been issued for him.

The 35-year-old may be in the Gary area, police said. Hobart detectives reinterviewed and recanvassed the area around the mall Tuesday and were able to develop a suspect, Gonzales said. 

The 35-year-old was positively identified as a suspect through a photo lineup, he said.

The man is accused of shooting a 40-year-old Gary man in the face at the entrance and exit to Southlake Mall near the Olive Garden restaurant.

Police said the man sped off on the mall's outer drive after the shooting, and the 40-year-old's Nissan Maxima eventually came to rest against the Firestone Complete Auto Care business.

The 40-year-old was taken to a local hospital and later transferred to a Chicago-area hospital for treatment, police said.

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Sarah covers crime, federal courts and breaking news for The Times. She joined the paper in 2004 after graduating from Purdue University Calumet.