CHICAGO, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- An Illinois police officer who was shot and killed while chasing three suspects Tuesday morning was a 30-year veteran of the force and a married father of four.
Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz, who was on routine patrol in the area, had told dispatchers he was investigating three men he deemed suspicious. A short time later, he radioed in to say he was in a foot pursuit with them.
Dispatchers did not hear from him again.
Responding officers arrived minutes later to find Gliniewicz's body lying in a marshy area near a state highway. His service weapon and pepper spray were missing.
Police immediately called in helicopters, K-9 units and a SWAT team to assist in the manhunt. Fox Lake is located about 60 miles northwest of Chicago.
Authorities had not speculated on a possible motive or why the men ran from Gliniewicz.
"This is a two-pronged investigation. We are looking at the apprehension of the three suspects at large. We are using multiple resources for that," a Lake Fox police spokesman said at a news conference, noting that a major crime task force is leading the investigation.
The U.S. Marshals Service is also assisting police in the hunt, the spokesman said.
Gliniewicz, 52, was a 32-year police veteran, officials said, and a father of four. He was also a veteran of the U.S. Army -- and just three weeks away from retirement.
"This should never happen. Joey just loved his job," friend Thomas Poulos told the Chicago Tribune.
"He's got four sons who are going to have to go on alone," Gliniewicz's mother-in-law, Terry Resetar, said.
Officials said Gliniewicz was also an active community advocate well-known in Lake Fox for participating in the local police explorers program -- in which he regularly interacted with teenagers and children.
"He, as the leader of that, had a tremendous impact on a lot of young people in the county," Lake County Undersherrif Raymond Rose said.
Nearby schools were placed on lockdown until late in the afternoon, when the students were released to their parents' custody.