The veteran Fox Lake, Illinois, police officer killed in a shooting one month ago was shot twice by his own gun, officials revealed on Thursday.
Lake County Major Crimes Task Force Commander George Filenko said during a press conference that there was evidence of a struggle at the crime scene and confirmed that Lieutenant Charles Joseph Gliniewicz was shot by his own weapon.
Filenko said Gliniewicz was shot twice and one of the shots entered the right side of the front of the officer's vest. Another was fired in the upper chest region.
U.S. & World
Filenko said the shot to the right of the vest incapacitated the officer.
"It would be similar to that of a sledgehammer hitting you in the side," he said.
It was the chest wound the killed officer, however.
Detective Christopher Covelli with the Lake County Sheriff's office said the shooting continues to be investigated as a homicide, though gunshot residue tests were deemed "inconclusive."
Filenko said the results from the tests revealed that Gliniewicz's hands could have been on the weapon at the time of the shooting, or he could have been in close range at the time it was fired.
Questions have swirled around the investigation — particularly since the county coroner said he has been unable to rule the 52-year-old Gliniewicz's death a homicide, suicide or an accident. Officials on Thursday did not rule out a suicide, though they maintained they are investigating the shooting as a homicide.
"This continues to be an extraordinarily complex investigation with many different components," Covelli said. "There are no theories to this point that have been eliminated or taken off the table."
Gliniewicz's body was found Sept. 1 after he radioed that he was pursuing three suspicious men in a remote area of the village just south of the Wisconsin state line. Despite a massive manhunt, police have not made any arrests or identified any suspects.
Investigators have since returned to the scene to recreate possible escape routes, including hunting trails, Filenko said.
Filenko revealed that nine unidentified DNA samples were found at the scene.
Investigators working to identify the DNA found have taken more than 100 samples, including DNA from police who were close to the scene, he said.
Authorities believe Gliniewicz was in the area because the village recently purchased the property and there had been reports of vandalism and trespassing.