Ronald Susek was found in his backyard last week with a .22 laying beside him. But that wasn't the weapon that killed him, the family says. Rob Elgas reports.
Family members say a Melrose Park police sergeant found shot in the backyard of his home last week was murdered.
A neighbor last Thursday found Ronald Susek unconscious behind his home, in the 1600 block of North 14th Avenue, in the western suburb. He'd been shot, and there was a .22 on the ground next to him.
His family says that .22 was one weapon used in what they believe might have been a struggle. Susek had two gunshot wounds: one in his leg and one in his side. But the family said the coroner found something else. There was a slug from another gun lodged in Susek's chest.
"He was shot in the chest," Susek's brother-in-law, Michael Freeman, said Tuesday. 'That weapon has never been found. So to me, it's obviously a homicide."
Neighbors said they heard what they thought were fireworks Wednesday night. And Susek’s garage door was open when a neighbor saw him on the ground.
Cook county Sheriff’s detectives revisited the house this weekend, taking several items out of the house. And his wife returned only to gather some personal belongings. His family says she will never live there again, too distraught about her husband.
"I wish somebody out there would call. I know it takes courage,” Freeman told Elgas. “But I wish they would contact the police department with anything that might help."
Susek retired from the Melrose Park police department in 2004. A service is planned for him Thursday morning at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Melrose Park. His family says he has so many friends, they expect an overflow crowd.