A massive manhunt raged into the night Tuesday for three men on the loose who authorities say gunned down a Fox Lake police officer.
Authorities say search crews will continue around the clock to find the suspects who are believed to be responsible for the killing of Lieutenant Charles "Joe" Gliniewicz, a 30-year-veteran of the police force.
"Search teams will work 24/7 to apprehend [the suspects]," said Joe Ahern, CEO of the 100 Club of Chicago, late Tuesday.
In addition to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Fox Lake Police Department, search teams include numerous local law enforcement officers from northern Illinois, Illinois State Police, and federal agencies, according to officials. Multiple local and federal SWAT Teams, 48 canine units, and six air support units were also dispatched for more than 14 hours Tuesday.
Fox Lake and several surrounding districts canceled school for Wednesday in response to the ongoing search. The local school districts include Grant Community High School, Fox Lake, Gavin, Big Hollow, and Saint Bede Catholic School.
"As a result of those reports and deliberations, we have all decided that it is in the best interests of our students, the community, and law enforcement, to cancel school for tomorrow, Wednesday, September 2, 2015," school officials said in a statement just after 10 p.m.
Gliniewicz, who went by "Joe" and was affectionately called "G.I. Joe" by residents, dedicated his life to serving his community. He leaves behind a wife of 30 years, Melodie, and four sons.
One neighbor told NBC Chicago they saw Gliniewicz leave for work at 6 a.m. Tuesday. Just two hours later he was viciously shot to death.
Just after 8 a.m., Gliniewicz was called to investigate three suspicious suspects near Route 12 and Sayton Road in north suburban Fox Lake. Upon arrival, Gliniewicz was led on a foot pursuit by the men, according to Detective Christopher Covelli with the Lake County Sheriff's office, and soon after used his radio to call for backup.
A responding backup officer found Gliniewicz in a marshy area with a gunshot wound. Gliniewicz died soon after from his injuries.
The 52-year-old officer was on the cusp of retirement when he was killed, according to Ahern of the 100 Club of Chicago, who says Gliniewicz planned to retire last month but the police chief asked him to stay one extra month to help out.
The gunmen are described as two white men and one black man, but further details on their descriptions have not been made available.
Governor Rauner’s office released a statement saying he "extends his deepest condolences to the family of Officer Gliniewicz."
Chief Doug Larsson with the Lake County Sheriff's office said the department, along with several other suburban departments, are using canines and helicopters to search for the suspects. The suspects are armed with a pistol, Larsson said.
During an 11:30 a.m. press conference residents in the area were told to stay indoors and report any suspicious activity as the investigation continued.
“As information continues to come in about the shooting of another police officer in the line of duty in Fox Lake, I hope we can all remain calm and pray for the officer’s family and the other officers in harms-way right now," State Rep. Barbara Wheeler said in a statement. "Eleven police officers have needless lost their lives since Aug. 20th alone in America because of shootings and sadly our communities have been directly impacted today.”
As the manhunt began after the shooting, Grant Community High School in Fox Lake was put on a temporary lockdown. The school said a "police matter is occurring in the community and for the safety of our students and staff they have requested we remain locked down."
Roads in the area were blocked off as police can be seen searching wooded areas with dogs.
Authorities are said to be using a grid system to cover the area in the manhunt.