Victim Says Amaya Is "Honeybee Killer"

Forensic testing ties Gary Amaya's gun to both cases, police say

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Gary Amaya (inset) is shown next to a police sketch of the "Honeybee Killer."

    One of the so-called "Honeybee Killer's" victims said he's positive the man shot and killed during a robbery attempt at an Orland Park tanning salon over the weekend is the gunman who shot him.

    The positive identification came as detectives confirmed that the gun recovered at the L.A. Tan store matches the gun used in the two-state crime spree in October.

    Surveillance Video: L.A. Tan Customer Overtakes Robber

    [CHI] Surveillance Video: L.A. Tan Customer Overtakes Robber
    A man, later identified as Gary Amaya, died while trying to rob an Orland Park tanning salon Saturday night after a customer shot him with his own gun. (Published Tuesday, Dec 14, 2010)

    Unemployed truck driver Gary Amaya, 48, was shot dead by a customer during the Saturday incident.   

    "The weapon and the projectiles all match coming from the same weapon, which was that Colt .38 special, which was found at the [Orland Park] location," said Will County Sheriff Paul Kaupas.

    Still, Kaupas and the sheriff of Lake County, Ind., stopped just short of naming Amaya as the man whose October shooting killed one person and wounded two others.

    One of the wounded, farmer Keith Dahl, spoke with investigators earlier this week.

    "Mr. Dahl had unequivocally identified Gary Amaya as the person who shot him," said Sheriff Roy Dominguez.

    Also compelling is the revelation that Amaya once was the manager of a property in Grundy County that had a honeybee operation.  The shooter in the October spree was said to have engaged at least one of his victims in a conversation about honey bees before pulling out a gun.

    Investigators said more forensic work must be completed before they can officially tie Amaya to all three incidents, but they said that rope and other evidence recovered from Amaya's Rankin, Ill., residence and from his 1992 Chevy Cheyenne pickup truck are consistent with an attack on a Chicago prostitute and with the attempted robbery on the tanning salon.

    Still undetermined is why the Amaya would have committed any of the crimes.

    "Nobody can give us a clear motive, not a possible motive.  [There's] no motive at all," said Kaupus.