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“It’s been very tough:” Family members, friends, strangers prepare to say goodbye to Lt. Joe Gliniewicz

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ANTIOCH, Illinois -- Thousands are expected in Antioch, Illinois Monday, September 7th to remember Fox Lake Lt. Joe Gliniewicz, who lost his life when he was fatally shot in the line of duty last Tuesday morning, September 1st. Gliniewicz is the 24th law enforcement official to be shot to death in the line of duty this year, and he was an officer whose impact on his community was far-reaching.

Lt. Joe Gliniewicz

Lt. Joe Gliniewicz

Gliniewicz was on his way to work Tuesday morning, in the cruiser that he had taken home the day before, when he saw three suspicious people.

The lieutenant made the first call at 7:52 a.m. and called three minutes later to request backup. The backup units arrived at 8:01 and found their fellow officer dead, roughly 50 yards from his vehicle, at 8:09.

Authorities have searched across tricky terrain and brought in helicopters, K-9 units, federal agents, night-vision equipment and body-heat sensors. Police cleared every home in the cordoned-off area and fielded more than 100 tips.

So far, the suspects haven't been found.

Investigators on Friday found a significant piece of evidence near the scene. Lake County Major Crime Task Force commander George Filenko wouldn't specify what type of evidence was discovered, only that it was located by a person.

Lt. Joe Gliniewicz

Lt. Joe Gliniewicz

Additionally, over the weekend, a $50,000 reward was offered in this case, and a hotline and website were established for tips.

"I have never seen a community come together quite like this," Chris Vanderweel, a friend of Lt. Gliniewicz said.

Throughout Antioch, Illinois, you'll find signs the community is in mourning.

"To be honest with you, it`s been very tough," Vanderweel said.

Antioch is Lt. Gliniewicz's hometown. Gliniewicz was a husband and father of four.

Gliniewicz planned to retire last month, Chicago TV station WMAQ reported. But the police chief asked him to stay one more month to help out.

The day before his death, Gliniewicz met with Mayor Donny Schmit to discuss his retirement plans and to make sure the Explorers program continued without him.

He helped lead the Fox Lake Police Department Explorers Post, which mentors young people hoping to become law enforcement officers.

Lt. Joe Gliniewicz

Lt. Joe Gliniewicz

"There`s not a lot of good people left in this world and Joe was definitely one of them," Vanderweel said.

Vanderweel, like many others, is showing support for Gliniewicz in his front yard.

Chris Vanderweel

Chris Vanderweel

"Anything I can do to support him in this whole tragedy -- my wife and I are wholeheartedly behind it," Vanderweel said.

The streets of Antioch are now lined with blue ribbons and handmade signs.

This, as a visitation and funeral for Gliniewicz will be held Monday, September 7th.

The visitation will run from 9:00 a.m. to noon at Antioch Community High School, 1133 Main Street in Antioch. His funeral is planned for 1:00 p.m. at the high school.

Then, a procession will begin at Antioch Community High School south, past the Fox Lake Police Department -- ending at Hillside East Cemetery, where Gliniewicz will be buried.

"We`re asking the people to please line the roads, please show your honor and respect there with signs, flags -- that would be the best place for them," Terry Roderick with Concerns of Police Survivors said.

Lt. Joe Gliniewicz

Lt. Joe Gliniewicz

The search for the suspects responsible for taking Lt. Gliniewicz's life continues as family members, friends and strangers prepare to say goodbye.

There is room for 500 people inside the gymnasium at Antioch Community High School, and there is room for overflow crowds, as thousands are expected at Gliniewicz's visitation.

Lt. Joe Gliniewicz

Lt. Joe Gliniewicz

"We`re expecting an extremely large number of police officers from across the county. So far we`ve had 15 states that have responded," Roderick said.

Vanderweel says he'll keep a sign in his yard and a blue light on in his house until the men responsible for Gliniewicz's death are caught.

"I`m not sure what kind of justice is just for this kind of murder," Vanderweel said.

Lt. Gliniewicz's truck is already on display outside Antioch Community High School ahead of Monday's services.

Lt. Joe Gliniewicz's truck outside Antioch Community High School

Lt. Joe Gliniewicz's truck outside Antioch Community High School


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