CHICAGO -- Illinois law-enforcement authorities are looking closely at a would-be robber killed Saturday as the "honeybee gunman" suspect in an October shooting spree that killed one and wounded two others in Illinois and Indiana, sources told the Chicago Tribune.
The robber's vehicle matches the description of the gunman's 1992 light-blue Chevy truck, and the gun used in the Saturday attack at L.A. Tan in southwest suburban Orland Park is a revolver of the same caliber used in the October shootings, sources said Sunday.
The would-be robber lived south of rural Beecher, Ill., near where a man known as the "honeybee gunman" opened fire on three workers rehabbing a burned-out home, killing one, and later wounded a farmer near Lowell, Ind.
Investigators plan to send the revolver for ballistics tests to see if it matches the weapon used in the earlier attacks, sources said.
Officials on Sunday identified the would-be robber as Gary Amaya, 48, of Rankin, Ill., a small town about 100 miles south of Chicago. Amaya's phone number was not in service Sunday evening, and relatives could not be reached for comment.
Ken Kaupas, a Will County sheriff's police spokesman, said Orland Park police asked sheriff's investigators to review their case at L.A. Tan, but he would not elaborate.
"It's premature at this point to really say more than that because of our investigation," Kaupas said.
Orland Park police Cmdr. John Keating would not comment on the would-be robber's identity or other details that sources told the Tribune.
The latest lead for sheriff's police began about 6:30 p.m. Saturday, when a female employee at L.A. Tan called police about an armed man apparently robbing the business. Another woman was using a tanning bed at the time, Orland Park police said in a news release.
Amaya allegedly entered the tanning salon, announced the robbery and pointed a gun at the employee, police said. Amaya allegedly ordered the employee to tie her hands and feet with rope he had brought, police said.
Minutes later, a male customer came for his appointment. Amaya changed his target and aimed his gun at the new customer, then ordered him to tie his hands together, police said.
For reasons that remain unclear, the customer was able to grab the gun, which prompted Amaya to move aggressively toward the customer, police said. That's when the customer shot Amaya, hitting him twice, authorities said. Amaya was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he died at 7:30 p.m., police said.
The incident was captured by a surveillance camera, police said. The male customer, whom police would not name, was released without charges. Keating said the man wants to remain anonymous.
In the October slaying, police said a man randomly shot and killed Rolando Alonso, 45, and wounded Josh Garza, 19, above his right eye while he and Alonso rehabbed a home near Beecher. A third construction worker, who is 19, escaped unharmed.
About 40 minutes later, the gunman shot Keith Dahl, 64, an Indiana farmer, and robbed him of $60. The gunman apparently asked about honeybees, which led to his moniker.
Sheriff's police charged Lynwood police Officer Brian Dorian with Alonso's slaying. A victim had identified Dorian after being shown an 8-year-old driver's license photograph of the officer, sources said.
But prosecutors dropped the charges a few days later after Dorian's attorneys said they highlighted holes in the case. The arrest drew sharp criticism from people such as Lynwood police Chief Russell Pearson, who accused prosecutors of damaging Dorian's reputation and dragging his fellow officers "through the mud."
In Orland Park, a village known as a shopping destination, L.A. Tan was closed Sunday, apparently unknown to many customers who tugged on the door, then peered inside.
"This is a complete shocker," Malwina Kielbus, 23, a regular customer, said of the shooting.
The business is next to a dry cleaner, a bridal shop and several other stores in a strip mall. Taylor Insalaco, a kennel manager-in-training at nearby Happiness Is Pets, was stunned by the brazen would-be robber. She said the neighborhood is safe. She also is a customer at L.A. Tan.
"You wouldn't think of a (shooting) in a tanning salon -- in Orland Park," Insalaco said.
(Tribune reporter Jeremy Gorner contributed to this report.)
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