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Alleged shooter, victim once lived in Portage

Police 109th Avenue Interstate 65  southbound extit ramp remove pickup truck used by man suspected Starke County carjacking Friday

Police at at 109th Avenue and the Interstate 65 southbound extit ramp remove a pickup truck used by a man suspected in a Starke County carjacking Friday afternoon. | Carrie Napoleon~for Sun-Times Media

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Updated: July 10, 2014 6:29AM



PORTAGE — A former Portage man suspected of killing his wife Friday at his Knox home and then leading police on a chase through Porter and Lake counties, remained in critical condition Sunday in a Chicago-area hospital from a self-inflicted wound.

The man was airlifted to Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn from Franciscan St. Anthony Health Crown Point, after shooting himself as the police chase wound down Friday, authorities said.

Investigators haven’t said how the victim died, but an autopsy is scheduled Monday.

Indiana State Police say the man left his home Friday afternoon and carjacked two vehicles in Starke County and one in Porter County before leading police on a chase that ended in Crown Point.

The Starke County Sheriff’s Department told WSBT-TV in South Bend that the couple were still married. It’s unknown at this point in the investigation if they were going through a divorce or were separated.

Neighbors on the quiet Portage street near the Indiana Toll Road, where the couple once lived in a two-story home for about five or six years, said the wife moved out about two years ago and the husband left about a year ago.

Neighbor Lou Varella said the man was a bricklayer. Varella said he rarely spoke with the wife, but the man had cancer and often exercised in the neighborhood.

“This doesn’t sound like him,” Varella said of the deadly shooting, carjackings, and police chase.

The wife’s friends on social media mourned her loss Sunday. One woman called her “a beautiful person” and another said she had love and compassion for everyone she met.

Contributing: AP



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