In Gary, a tale of 2 homicides
by Lori Caldwell email@example.com | 648-3258 August 11, 2012 11:42PM
Bernard Hamilton. | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 13, 2012 6:12AM
GARY — The city’s two most recent homicides share several familiar similarities — both young black men, both shot to death, both within view of witnesses.
The striking difference is that the witnesses who saw Lawrence McIntosh, 29, shot in the face outside Rico’s Pizza on Aug. 2 called police, stayed with the victim, provided a description of the getaway car and made formal statements to police.
But hours later, the people who were standing outside in the Dorie Miller Housing Development watched as the gunman fired at Bernard Hamilton, 22, saw the suspect pilfer the victim’s pockets and then told police they didn’t have anything to say.
For veteran homicide Detectives Cpl. Edward Gonzalez and James Bond, the disparity between the two cases is mysterious and frustrating.
“I’ve been flooded with calls from people who saw what happened (to Hamilton) but say they are too afraid to make a statement,” Gonzalez said.
“We appreciate all the tips, but if we are going to make an arrest we need someone to come forward,” he added.
A suspect has been arrested and charged with murder in McIntosh’s death. Daryl Henderson, 26, is being held without bond and not likely to be released from jail while he awaits trial.
In contrast, the suspect in Hamilton’s shooting remains free.
“That silence is giving the killer more power than anyone should have,” Bond observed.
Investigators often hear the complaint from residents that “the police aren’t doing anything,” Bond said.
“We are using every investigative tool we have to complete these cases,” he said. “The community should ask themselves what are they doing?”
The detectives acknowledged that witnesses may be afraid to testify, because they fear retaliation.
“We would try to work with them, but the biggest thing to do to keep them safe would be to lock up the suspect,” Gonzalez said.
Anyone with information about the homicide of Bernard Hamilton, shot in the chest about 2:25 a.m. Aug. 3 on a Dorie Miller Housing Development street, can reach Gonzalez at 881-4750 or Bond at 881-4751.