Three charged in Porter County home invasion that ended in Hobart melee
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent August 10, 2012 7:06PM
Michael Sprague. | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 12, 2012 6:07AM
VALPARAISO — A home-invasion burglary in Porter Township that ended in a vehicle chase through Porter and Lake counties and with one suspect fatally shot in a busy retail section of Hobart was planned and ordered by someone not publicly identified by Porter County law enforcement.
The Porter County Prosecutor’s Office filed charges Friday afternoon against Jordan A. Wilkerson, 23, of Chicago; Dominick Fazzini, 23, or Peotone, Ill.; and Michael A. Sprague, 24, of Gary.
Wilkerson and Fazzini were each charged with Class A felony burglary, and Sprague was charged with Class A felony aiding in a burglary. All the Class A felonies carry sentences of 20 to 50 years.
The prosecutor also charged Fazzini with robbery and confinement, both Class B felonies that carry possible sentences of six to 20 years.
The other two men were also charged with two Class B felonies, aiding in a robbery and aiding in confinement.
Court documents and the Lake County coroner identify the man who shot himself Wednesday near the intersection of U.S. 30 and Colorado Street as Shawn Patrick Michael Duffy, 24, of Crown Point.
Fazzini told police he had been contacted about doing a “job” in Porter County, although court documents do not state who contacted him to do the burglary.
According to the charging documents, Fazzini was told what to expect and that they would need the woman in the house because she knew the combination to a safe. Fazzini contacted the others to help, and they were told they would receive cash for the cash and coins in the safe.
The burglary victim, a 52-year-old woman, told police that the robbery happened about 5 p.m. Wednesday when a well-dressed man — Wilkerson later told police it was him — came to her door asking for directions. She did not let him in, but they talked for a while and she offered water when he said he was exhausted. When she opened the door, he forced his way in, damaging the front door screen and knocking her down
Two other men came in after him, one with several days of beard growth in a black T-shirt that the other men told police was Duffy.
The other — later identified as Fazzini — wore a mask and pointed a silver or pewter gun at her and demanded keys to a safe, court documents state.
They took her to the safe and threatened to shoot her if she did not open it. After putting cash and guns in garbage bags, the men used bleach to wipe fingerprints and ripped off her shirt, forcing her to put on a different one.
The three heard a neighbor coming, as the victim expected him to stop by, and hit her before leaving.
Police noted a swelling on the victim’s left temple and a scraped knee, and she had an injury where they hit her back.
The chase began after the neighbor checked on the victim, then followed the suspects’ silver car in his pickup truck. He called 911 while driving through Hobart. It ended when the silver car crashed near the Speedway gas station at U.S. 30 and Colorado Street.
The neighbor followed one man into a Centier bank parking lot, grabbing his gun from the truck’s passenger seat, but the man, believed to be Duffy, shot the neighbor in the hand as the neighbor pointed the gun at the suspect.
Two FBI agents who had stopped their vehicle at Colorado Street driving south saw the accident and joined in the pursuit. One heard four or five shots and put on his bulletproof vest. According to court documents, he saw Duffy with the gun at his side walking from the bank across U.S. 30. He identified himself as an FBI agent and repeatedly told Duffy to put down the gun.
The other FBI agent said Duffy stopped at the median, fired three or four times at his partner, then walked across U.S. 30 and put the gun to his head, shooting himself. Duffy died at the scene, according to the Lake County coroner.
Police took Wilkerson into custody at the crash scene and the other two at TGI Friday’s and Chuck E. Cheese restaurants.
The Lake County Prosecutor’s Office declined to charge the men, according to a Porter County Sheriff’s Police news release.
All three men are being held without bond in Porter County Jail and are expected to have their initial hearings Monday by video in Porter County Superior Court 1 under Judge Roger Bradford.
The Porter County Sheriff’s Police thanked the Hobart, Merrillville and Lake County police and the FBI for their assistance.