A south suburban police officer accused of murdering one man and wounding two others in a two-state shooting spree pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder on Tuesday.
Appearing via a video hook-up, Brian Dorian showed no emotion during a proceeding that lasted less than three minutes. Several onlookers in the courtroom, many of whom were wearing "Free Brian" T-shirts, wept openly.
Prosecutors offered no new details in the case against Dorian, nor did they present any additional charges.
Dorian, 37, a member of the Lynwood police force on medical leave, is accused of going on a two-state shooting spree from Indiana to Illinois. One man, 45-year-old Rolando Alonso, died. Two others were seriously injured in the attacks.
Among those in small Will County courtroom was Kristina Garza, the aunt of one of the men who was shot during the spree.
"My nephew can identify this gentlman by voice. Because he made it very clear. He looked at those three boys that day, and he said, 'I don't envy you guys,' and he shot him. He shot my nephew in the head," she said.
Josh Garza, 19, remains in the hospital.
But most of those on hand were family, friends and colleagues of Dorian who, like the night prior, gathered to show their support.
"Brian Dorian is a caring, loving human, individual. He's a funny guy and a damn good cop," said Tim Smith, a retired police sergeant from Lynwood. Smith was Dorian's supervisor on the force for five years, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Kristina Garza wasn't intimated by the show of support for the accused.
"I want him to know that for every one supporting him, there are five of us," she said.
That includes Sherry and Ken Drapeau, whose son, Dylan, was killed in a 2007 crash involving Dorian. The Drapeau's maintain that police protected the off-duty officer from charges.
"I pray with all that I have that justice will be served this time and that no other families will have to endure this tragedy," said Sherry Drapeau.
"We knew of the type of guy that this was. And lo and behold, here we are again," her husband added.
Investigators haven’t found the murder weapon yet and haven’t revealed how they came to believe Dorian was the killer. Sources would only tell the paper that the arrest stemmed from a traffic stop.
Dorian continues to be held on $2.5 million bail. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Nov. 9.