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Police: Gary man admits he served as lookout in 2015 gas station murder

Police: Gary man admits he served as lookout in 2015 gas station murder

Walter A. Rondo III

Walter A. Rondo III

CROWN POINT — A 21-year-old Gary man is charged with murder on allegations he served as a lookout for two gang members who shot another man two years ago during a botched robbery at a Gary gas station.

Walter A. Rondo III was charged Tuesday in Lake Criminal Court with murder and attempted armed robbery in the shooting death April 12, 2015, of 21-year-old Donald Fuzzell at 23rd Street Gas, 2395 Broadway.

Gary police were dispatched about 11 p.m. that day after receiving reports of a man down, court records state. The first officer on the scene found Fuzzell laying face down near the gas station's doors. A running red Mitsubishi Lancer was crashed into a pillar.

Five spent shell casings, a .380 automatic pistol and four 9 mm bullets were recovered from the scene. A gas station attendant said he was sitting inside the gas station when he heard several loud “bangs.” He said he looked outside, saw the victim on the ground and called 911.

Surveillance footage showed Fuzzell exiting the gas station and entering his vehicle. Two men in black clothing then approach his vehicle armed with handguns.

One man opens the car door and yells, “Up that (expletive),” records state. Fuzzell appears to lean out of the vehicle, and the men retreat, repeatedly shooting at Fuzzell before fleeing the scene, records state.

A K-9 unit tracked a scent from the crime scene to a home in the 2200 block of Pennsylvania Street. Detectives noted in court records two homes in the neighborhood were associated with members of the “22 Avenue Boys” street gang.

A break in the case came through conversations with a woman jailed on burglary charges in May 2015, records state. She told police a day or two after the murder her boyfriend and his two friends confessed they attempted to rob a man at a gas station, but he fought back so they shot him twice.

Police learned one of the men had moved to Iowa, records state. He was interviewed June 7 outside his home and initially denied knowledge about the murder, records state, but he agreed to submit to a polygraph test.

He was taken to an FBI field office in Iowa, where he then admitted serving as a lookout for the robbery. The man told police he and Rondo served as lookouts while two other men committed the robbery.

He said one shooter had a 9 mm handgun and the other shooter used a .380 or .38 semiautomatic handgun.

Rondo was questioned July 2, records state. Rondo admitted he associated with some members of the 22nd Avenue Boys street gang. He said on the day of the murder he and his friend were walking in the 2000 block of Tennessee Street when they were approached by two members of 22nd Avenue Boys.

They told Rondo and his friend to serve as lookouts while they committed a robbery at 23rd Street Gas. Rondo said he and his friend agreed to stand watch behind the gas station, but ran when they heard gunshots, records state.

Rondo was in custody Thursday, records state. He is not afforded bond.

Recent arrests booked into Lake County Jail


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Lake County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Steve covers Lake County courts and social justice issues for The Times. The UW-Milwaukee graduate joined The Times in 2016 after reporting on criminal justice in New Mexico and Wisconsin.

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