FOX LAKE, Illinois -- Investigators combed neighborhoods north of Chicago on Tuesday, September 1st in a massive manhunt for three suspects accused of shooting dead a police officer -- and the search continued into Tuesday night.
Officers in heavy gear, with K-9 partners and others on horseback, kept looking for the men police said shot Lt. Joe Gliniewicz earlier in the day.
This, as the Fox Lake Grade School District 114 announced on its website Stanton Middle School & Lotus Elementary School will be closed on Wednesday, September 2nd "due to the ongoing police activity."
The shooting happened about 10 minutes before 8:00 a.m., after Lt. Gliniewicz sent word over his radio that he was pursuing three suspects on foot, Lake County Sheriff's Sgt. Christopher Covelli said.
Radio communication dropped off and backup officers were sent. They found the officer with a gunshot wound.
Gliniewicz worked for Fox Lake Police, a community of about 60,000 people in Lake County, about 60 miles north of Chicago. He was a married father of four.
"Today, not only did Fox Lake lose a family member, I lost a very dear friend," Fox Lake Mayor Donny Schmit said.
"He loved his community and loved his job, and he will be very sorely missed in this community," said Catherine "Kay" Starostovic, Grant Township supervisor.
"Many residents here knew him as GI Joe and knew him as someone deeply committed to Fox Lake, the profession and his fellow officers," Mayor Schmit said.
Gliniewicz is the 24th law enforcement official to be shot to death in the line of duty this year.
The hunt for the suspects in this case -- described by Covelli as two white men and one black man -- put at least four schools on lockdown and left people barricaded in their homes in Lake County, Illinois.
Covelli told CNN on Tuesday afternoon that an earlier report that one suspect was in custody was inaccurate.
More than 12 hours after the fatal shooting, the manhunt was still ongoing.
"I've never seen anything like this in Fox Lake. I've heard the opposite. Officers in Fox Lake have never even had to pull their weapons," said one resident of Fox Lake that spoke with FOX6's Myra Sanchick.
Law enforcement on foot and in helicopters were combing the area, according to the sheriff.
Canine units have also been dispatched. U.S Marshal officials and agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are assisting.
Those from the area say the search zone is wooded, marshy and has a creek -- conditions some worried would become more challenging as it got dark Tuesday night.
No-fly zone over search area
Residents have been asked to remain inside their homes and businesses, officials said.
"We asked residents to report any suspicious activity they happen to see, whether they think it's something minor or major and to keep an eye out for these three individuals," Covelli said.
The Federal Aviation Administration has issued a no-fly zone that covers two nautical miles over the search area.
Some residents on Tuesday gathered near the search zone to show support for law enforcement officials.
Devan Arbay says he knew Gliniewicz for four years, and met him through the Fox Lake Law Enforcement Explorers Post -- a program for teens.
Gliniewicz was the advisor.
"When I first met him, he was a very dedicated and enthused person. Once I heard the news that it was him and my school, it was in a lockdown, I immediately burst into tears. I couldn`t...it was unbearable," Arbay said.
Arbay says he considered Gliniewicz a mentor, and he says Gliniewicz will continue to inspire him.
"He loved his job. He truly didn`t work a day in his life and that`s how much he loved his job. This truly encourages me to do more and do better for my community and definitely serve justice for Lt. Gliniewicz," Arbay said.
The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) issued the following statement on this incident:
"Today the Fraternal Order of Police lost a fellow member and brother who died heroically serving his community. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the slain officer's family, friends and fellow police officers. He leaves a legacy of several decades of service to Fox Lake for which we are humbly grateful. This is the very real danger that all law enforcement officials knowingly face every day when they put on the badge and go out to protect all of us. We pledge to honor his memory by continuing to protect and serve the citizens of Illinois, and hope that those responsible can be quickly apprehended without further bloodshed and brought to justice."
Monitor FOX6 News and FOX6Now.com for updates on this developing story.