Official: Trail of bistate shooter not cold

2010-10-27T00:00:00Z 2010-12-16T11:12:29Z Official: Trail of bistate shooter not coldBy Times Staff
October 27, 2010 12:00 am  • 

JOLIET | Will County officials are dismissing recent news reports that the trail of the bistate shooter has gone cold.

The reports, which circulated over the weekend in Chicago-area publications, said police have little to show for the three weeks of investigation since the Oct. 5 attacks near Beecher and Lowell that left one dead and two others injured.

"I know that (investigators) are really busy, and we still have a lot of tips coming in," said Pat Barry, spokesman for the Will County Sheriff's Department. "We're still looking for the vehicle and at that same composite sketch from Indiana."

The first shooting took place about 10:30 a.m. when a crew of workers from Dyer-based Rich Construction -- which specialized in fire restoration -- was working on a home on Stony Island Avenue in Washington Township, Ill. The shooter approached the workers, spoke briefly about scrap wood and then opened fire, killing Rolando Alonso, 45, of Hammond, and critically wounding Josh Garza, 19, of Dyer. A third worker escaped unharmed.

About an hour later, rural Lowell farmer Keith Dahl was shot in his pickup truck near his home and robbed of his wallet.

Police have narrowed the description of the suspect's pickup truck to a light blue Chevrolet Cheyenne manufactured between 1991 and 1998. The passenger side of the truck has a discoloration, making it lighter.

Recently published reports also stated the investigation was derailed when Will County investigators arrested Lynwood police Officer Brian Dorian as a suspect.

Dorian, 37, of Crete Township, was curbed by police in Schererville about an hour after the second shooting and let go after identifying himself as a policeman. Investigators arrested him early Oct. 8. He was charged with one count of first-degree murder in Alonso's death.

However, on Oct. 12, investigators uncovered exculpatory evidence from Dorian's home computer that Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow has said proves Dorian was home at the time of the first shooting and could not be responsible. The charge against Dorian was dropped the following day.

On Tuesday, Dorian's attorneys again appeared in court seeking the return of some of Dorian's property. At the time of his arrest, investigators confiscated Dorian's computer, his truck and several other items as possible evidence.

Many of the items have been returned, and Will County state's attorney spokesman Charles Pelkie said a few remaining items include a pair of weapons and some clothing. Pelkie said the only reason they had not yet been returned is because officials had been unable to make arrangements for Dorian to come by to pick them up.

During the minutelong hearing before Judge Richard C. Schoenstedt, prosecutors promised that all remaining property would be returned within a week.

Dorian was not present for the hearing. His attorney, Dave Carlson, said, "We have been working with the state's attorney's office to resolve this. I think they'll keep their word."

Lake County Sheriff Rogelio "Roy" Dominguez repeatedly has said his department never stopped investigating, despite Dorian's arrest.

Lessie Smith, deputy chief for the Lake County Sheriff's Department, on Tuesday said investigators on the Indiana side of the state line are continuing their investigation, and that the search for the shooter is an active one.

Anyone with information about the shootings or truck is asked to call police at (800) 750-2746 or (219) 755-3346.

Times correspondent Gregory Tejeda contributed to this report.

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