Salute to a man of service: Thousands honor Fox Lake Lt. Joe Gliniewicz at funeral

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ANTIOCH, Illinois -- Thousands, including family members, friends, and strangers were on hand in Antioch, Illinois on Monday, September 7th to remember Fox Lake Lt. Joe Gliniewicz, who was fatally shot in the line of duty last Tuesday morning, September 1st. This, as the three suspects in this case remain at large.

Casket of Lt. Joe Gliniewicz arrives for visitation, funeral

Casket of Lt. Joe Gliniewicz arrives for visitation, funeral

Gliniewicz's casket arrived Monday morning at Antioch Community High School. There was a public viewing as well as a special viewing for Gliniewicz's law enforcement colleagues ahead of the 1 p.m. CT service.

"I've never seen anything like this. There has to be a couple thousand police officers inside that high school there from all over the country," Michael Markasovic said.

Following the services, a procession headed to Hillside East Cemetery, where Gliniewicz was laid to rest.

The procession was massive -- and people lined the streets as the procession moved through Antioch. Many of them waved and shouted "thank you" at officers who had their windows rolled down.

"You know, I take a look around and I've never seen anything like this before. We've got crowds of people and it's an 18-mile track, so there's quite a bit of support for him," Michael Boyer said.

Funeral for Lt. Joe Gliniewicz

Funeral for Lt. Joe Gliniewicz

Boyer says Gliniewicz once helped his grandmother.

"It's something that I want to show my son who one day wants to become a police officer," Boyer said.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has ordered that all state and U.S. flags at government buildings be flown at half-staff until Monday evening.

Gliniewicz is remembered as a man who cared deeply for his community -- not only serving on the Fox Lake police force for three decades, but also mentoring the police officers of tomorrow through the Fox Lake Police Department Explorers Post.

The funeral was held in Antioch -- Gliniewicz's hometown, at his Alma Mater, Antioch Community High School.

During the service, Gliniewicz was awarded the law enforcement "Medal of Honor" for his actions on the day he died.

Lt. Joe Gliniewicz awarded a Medal of Honor

Lt. Joe Gliniewicz awarded a Medal of Honor

Friends describe him as a loving husband and father to four sons.

Funeral for Lt. Joe Gliniewicz

Funeral for Lt. Joe Gliniewicz

"During his 30 years of police service to the people of Fox Lake, he touched the lives of countless citizens. He was reasonable, fair and just. He took every opportunity to turn his interactions into teachable moments with the hope of helping people down a more positive path. When we were growing up, we all knew Joe was a hero, but now the nation knows he was a hero," Mike Gliniewicz, Lt. Gliniewicz's brother said.

"He was the kind of man, who, in the face of danger, ran towards it while others ran away. His dedication was unshakeable and his course was unwavering," Rachel Smithberg with the Joliet Police Department said.

Lt. Joe Gliniewicz was 52 years old. He was known by many as "G.I. Joe" from his time in the Army and also due to the way he drilled his teens in the Fox Lake Police Department's Explorers Post, which he led.

Lt. Joe Gliniewicz

Lt. Joe Gliniewicz

Authorities announced no major developments in the case over the weekend, but investigators said Friday that they had found a significant piece of evidence at the site where Gliniewicz was killed.

Lake County Major Crime Task Force commander George Filenko wouldn't specify what type of evidence was discovered, only that a person had located it.

Authorities have disclosed few details about the case, and the description of the suspects has been limited to their races and genders. Police have obtained video, but it's unclear what the footage contains.

"Based on what we're seeing and some of the preliminary results in the videos, we're believing and going into the direction that there is somebody within the police department here or within our investigative group that's going to be able to identify these individuals," Filenko said.

The officer's .40-caliber pistol was found at the scene, and a source involved in the investigation said last week that Gliniewicz's gun had been fired, but it was not clear who had used it.

The last day of work

Lt. Joe Gliniewicz

Lt. Joe Gliniewicz

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

Gliniewicz was the type of officer who considered himself on duty as soon as he rolled into town, he said.

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, Filenko said.

Authorities searched across tricky terrain and brought in helicopters, dogs, federal agents, night-vision equipment and body-heat sensors. Police cleared every building in a 2-square-mile, cordoned-off area and fielded more than 100 tips, Filenko said.

Despite the resources devoted to finding the suspects, police found no witnesses, he said.

Besides a home security video that Filenko mentioned Thursday, police said they also have one video from a truck driver who had a camera in his vehicle and was in the area Tuesday.

Lt. Joe Gliniewicz

Lt. Joe Gliniewicz

An autopsy has been completed, but authorities haven't released the results. The Northern Illinois Police Crime Laboratory was expediting its review of evidence to determine whether there was any fingerprint or DNA transfer, Filenko said last week, but police have not divulged whether that review was complete or what it revealed.

Gliniewicz was a hero to many in Fox Lake.

Funeral for Lt. Joe Gliniewicz

Funeral for Lt. Joe Gliniewicz

"Joe was my best friend and my world -- my hero," spouse Melodie Gliniewicz told more than 1,000 people at the candlelight vigil held in his honor last week.

Fox Lake officials say Motorola Solutions has pledged a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in this case.

The FBI has also offered a fully staffed, fully functional tip line for the investigation into Lt. Gliniewicz's death. The phone number is 1-800-CALL-FBI and will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week until this case is solved.

The FBI has also set up a website exclusive for this case. It is Anyone can submit tips on that website in addition to images and videos as well.

Antioch Community High School


Comments are closed.