Authorities in northwest Indiana are still searching for a suspect in the shooting of a Gary police officer on Monday, while family members are thankful that his condition has stabilized.
Police say that Sgt. William Fazekas, a 32-year veteran of the force, was on routine duty at approximately 1 p.m. in the 1500 block of West 5th Avenue when he saw an active shooter situation unfold.
“The officer observed a vehicle strike another vehicle,” Police Chief Brian Evans said. “When he engaged, activating his lights to see what was going on, the individuals opened fire on him.”
Fazekas was struck by gunfire, and was rushed to an area hospital. He was later transferred to a Chicago facility for additional treatment.
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Pattie Ison, Fazekas’ cousin, says she drove by the scene, but thought nothing of it.
“When Billy’s picture popped up, I just started bawling,” she said.
Ison says that she called family members, and was told that her cousin had been shot in the shoulder.
“Thomas (her relative) called me back and said ‘Pattie, quit crying, he’s been shot in the shoulder. He’s gonna be okay,’” she recalled.
Gary police say that they have one suspect in custody, but they are continuing to search for a second suspect in the shooting.
“Gary police is gonna find you, and you will pay,” Ison said.
Gary Mayor Jerome Prince said that the department is “grateful” for Fazekas’ service.
“He is a veteran officer who has proven himself to be committed to success and safety of our city,” he said. “We’re certainly grateful to have him.”