FOX LAKE, Illinois -- Investigators released new information on Thursday, October 1st about the fatal shooting of Fox Lake Police Lt. Joe Gliniewicz. It has been exactly one month since the shooting happened -- and investigators confirmed for the first time that Lt. Gliniewicz was indeed shot with his own weapon.
Lake County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Detective Christopher Covelli told reporters the Gliniewicz investigation is extremely complex. He said no theories have been eliminated in the case. Covelli also said his investigators have followed up on 400 leads -- and are working hard to keep the community informed.
At that point, Lake County Major Crime Task Force Commander George Filenko took the microphone. He released new information about the crime scene.
"There are indications (and I'm not going to go into exact details) at the crime scene that a struggle occurred," Filenko said.
Filenko said nine unknown samples of DNA were recovered from the crime scene. Three of those samples were CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) acceptable, meaning they were searchable in the national database. One of the samples was that of a male.
Additionally, Filenko said investigators have taken 100 swabs of DNA from various donors in interviews of people who had either direct or indirect contact with Lt. Gliniewicz. By the end of the day on Thursday, 40 more DNA swabs were being sent to the crime lab for analysis.
As for the crime scene, Filenko say there were indications a struggle took place. Lt. Gliniewicz was shot twice. The first shot entered the right side of the front of Gliniewicz's vest. That shot was severe enough to incapacitate the lieutenant. Filenko described the shot as being "similar to that of a sledge hammer hitting you in the side." Filenko said the second shot was the fatal shot -- and occurred in the upper left chest region of Lt. Gliniewicz.
Lab results from the gun shot residue part of this investigation are inconclusive. Filenko said the results show the weapon could have been fired by Lt. Gliniewicz -- or he could have been in close proximity of the weapon being fired.
No sightings of suspects
In the month since the shooting, there have been no confirmed sightings of the three men the officer said he was pursuing, authorities said.
Some federal law enforcement agencies have either reduced or ended their involvement in helping solve the shooting.
The U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force pulled out of the investigation last month because there were no suspects identified, according to a marshals service official.
In addition, the number of agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assigned to the case has dropped from 48 to 10, according to a bureau official.
The Lake County Sheriff's Office has said federal agencies are "fully involved" in the investigation.
Disorderly conduct charges related to case
The mystery of the case was punctuated recently when a retired Chicago police officer appeared in court to face disorderly conduct charges after threatening to harm investigators unless Gliniewicz's death was declared a suicide.
Joseph A. Battaglia, 54, is accused of making calls to the Lake County coroner's office, police agencies and media outlets, and threatening investigators "unless all the involved personnel declare Gliniewicz's death a suicide," according to a statement from the county sheriff's office.
He had no involvement in the Gliniewicz investigation.
Father of four
The Army veteran and father of four was on his way to work in the cruiser he had taken home the day before, when he said three suspicious men piqued his interest. He sent word over his radio that he was pursuing the trio on foot.
A few minutes later, he requested backup. Radio communication dropped off. Colleagues did not hear his voice again.
The backup units found their fellow officer dead, roughly 50 yards from his vehicle, officials said.
DNA belonging to someone other than Gliniewicz was found on his gun recovered at the crime scene, according to sources with knowledge of the investigation.
While Lake County officials said the case is being handled as a homicide, other theories remain on the table, including the possibility of a self-inflicted fatal gunshot wound.
Officers identified and interviewed three people caught on video taken by a home security system and a truck driver near the shooting scene. It was determined they were not involved in the shooting.
Gliniewicz planned to retire in August, but he was asked to stay on for another month.
Melodie Gliniewicz, the widow of Lt. Joe Gliniewicz, says she does not believe her husband committed suicide -- saying in an exclusive interview set to air on Friday, October 2nd: "I wholeheartedly believe he was murdered."
"There were things that were happening in our life that people who are going to commit suicide would never do. He'd already applied for chief jobs in other towns, he was retiring out. We were planning vacations, he lived for these things," Melodie Gliniewicz said.
An exclusive interview with Melodie Gliniewicz is set to air on Friday, October 2nd on Crime Watch Daily -- a new show that airs at 2:00 p.m. on FOX6.