ROUND LAKE BEACH, Ill. -- (WGN) -- Authorities say an Illinois police officer whose fatal shooting this summer led to a large manhunt carefully staged his own death after committing criminal acts.
Lake County investigators announced their findings Wednesday into the Sept. 1 shooting death of Fox Lake police Lieutenant Charles Joseph Gliniewicz.
The investigation found that Gliniewicz had been stealing and laundering money from the Fox Lake Police Explorer Post for the past seven years. Thousands of dollars were used by Gliniewicz for personal purposes, travel expenses, mortgages, personal gym memberships, adult websites, facilitating personal loans and unaccounted cash withdrawals.
Lake County Major Crimes Task Force Commander George Filenko said Gliniewicz intentionally left a staged trail of police equipment at the crime scene, including pepper spray, a baton and his personal glasses, in an attempt to mislead first-responders and investigators to believe it was a homicide scene.
Additionally, Gliniewicz had experience staging mock crime scenes for police explorer training.
The investigation also concluded that Gliniewicz strategically aimed the first of two shots from his own weapon at the lower abdominal area, striking his cell phone and bullet proof vest, which absorbed most of the impact of the first shot.
On the day he died, Gliniewicz radioed that he was chasing three suspicious men. His death led to a large manhunt, but no arrests were made.
The Gliniewicz family released a statement Wednesday:
"Today has been another day of deep sorrow for the Gliniewicz family. The family has cooperated with the Task Force's investigation and will not comment at this time. The Gliniewicz family requests that their privacy be respected as they continue to cope with the loss of their beloved husband and father."