Police shoot armed man at station; find suicide note in pocket
The man aimed a fake gun, forcing the officer to fire; the note claimed he had cancer and apologized for burdening police
By Russell Lissau and Lee Filas
The Daily Herald
VERNON HILLS, Ill. — A Vernon Hills police officer shot a man armed with a realistic-looking, fake handgun early Wednesday after a brief standoff at the police station, authorities said. The gunman, identified as 53-year-old Howard R. Lazarus of Mundelein, was wounded in the abdomen.
Authorities later found a handwritten suicide note in his pocket, and police believe he went to the station to die. The note in Lazarus' pocket said he was dying from cancer and "couldn't do the deed myself," authorities said.
Lazarus had told police he had been involved in an accident and wanted to file a report. The officer who shot Lazarus arrived in the lobby and determined the supposed crash had happened in Mundelein. After he offered to drive Lazarus to the Mundelein police station, Lazarus drew a gun from a coat pocket and pointed it at the officer, Joseph said.