GARY | A man found dead in the parking lot of a Rally's restaurant after an armed robbery there was one of the robbers and was shot and killed by an employee fearing for his life, police said.
Sgt. Nelson Otano released the information on the Jan. 11 shooting death Wednesday morning.
"The employee feared for his life and his partner's, grabbed his weapon and shot at the offenders as they went running," Otano said. "The employee didn't know (the man was shot and died). He's having a hard time with this."
Marcus Patillo, 24, of Merrillville, was found dead just before 3 p.m. Jan. 11 in a vacant lot in the 3600 block of Washington Street after being found by a nearby resident. He was wearing all black and a stocking mask when his body was discovered, police said.
About 12 hours earlier, two men entered an east door at Rally's and tried to rob a manager and employee. The employee fired shots at the offenders before the manager and employee jumped through a drive-through window to escape.
The robbers were described as black men wearing black hoodies and black gloves. One of the men was wearing a red bandanna over his face and the other was wearing a ski mask. The manager and employee told police the man with the bandanna had a gun that looked like an Uzi.
Otano said the Lake County prosecutor's office is examining the case, but charges are likely not going to be filed against the employee.
Indiana law allows for the concealed carrying of weapons, including in the workplace.
Patillo had an extensive criminal history, Otano confirmed.
Otano said the end of Patillo's life can serve as an example to young people not to choose a life of crime.
"These guys aren't your friends," he said. "Look at what his partner did. He left him behind."