Vernon Hills police shooting suspect: ‘I am dying from cancer’

Police say a man who appeared to be carrying a loaded weapon walked into a suburban police station and made a startling demand.

The man, later identified as Howard R. Lazarus, 54, of Mundelein, told officers he had been involved in an accident, and said he wanted to file a report.

When an officer entered the lobby to meet with him, he pointed a gun at the officer.

The officer drew his gun, and told Lazarus to drop the gun several times.

He then took several steps towards the officer, and in response, the officer fired at Lazarus striking him once in the abdomen. He was taken to the hospital and is listed in fair condition.

A hand-written note was found in Lazarus’ pocket that stated in part: “I apologize for placing your officers in this position. I am dying from cancer and couldn’t do the deed myself.”

His weapon was a metal, 9mm semi-automatic “replica gun.”

Lazarus has been charged with one count of Aggravated Assault, a Class IV Felony.

The officer has been placed on administrative leave pending a full investigation of the incident.

This is the first police-involved shooting in the history of the Vernon Hills Police Department.

13 comments

  • jeff

    unreal ,,, cowardly ,,,,loser ,,,selfish,,,, lowlife,,,,, my mother struggled with kemo and still held on till phenomia took her away when i was 14 …………. this guy has no pity on others except himself

    • steve

      The man may believe he has no way to solve his prognosis and wants out of his life. He then makes the very poor decision of bringing a toy gun into a police dept to be then killed. Of your attributes only that he may have been selfish ring true and I am one who lost his mother to A.L.S. when I was 20 and I know what pain is too.

  • keeping real

    well, my father die of pancreas, i think the government need to change some laws that could have doctors end life for those that are suffering i guess i could be wrong but i do understand mr lazarus and he should be sentence to jail cause taxes payer will have to pay for his illiness

  • dora

    After losing a loved one to suicide, I am glad the man was only wounded, the guilt associated with feeling responsible for someones suicide is agonizing. Shame on this man for putting someone else in that position.

  • daver_din

    I believe in euthanasia, and someone should have the right to die with dignity; but this is just stupid!
    Didn't he think of what was going through that officer's mind and what is going to be going through that officer's mind for the rest of his life?

  • Frank

    Coward! Don't put your blood on a cops hands! Go die the cowardly way jump in front of a train like the rest of the losers!

  • Margie

    I believe they should pass a law where doctors should be able to end someones life when they have a life threatening illness. We do it to are pets all the time we don't like to but its better then making them suffer.

  • Kyle

    Well you could just blame our overpriced mega monopoly healthcare system, that doesn't heal any degenerate diseases, just manages symptoms and creates the social imperative, for a person resort to this insane behavior, because fundamentally the underlining feeling here is that theres no hope.
    I do disclose that I do not condone the actions of this man, he deserves what did and yes he is to some degree is a coward. I'm just stating that when people lose it mentally, they will do whatever means they see fit in their self centered head but the roots of this are more substantial then one might realize.

  • guest

    I feel sorry for the cop who shot him and angry that his physican did not get this man and his family immediately into hospice services so they could all get the symptom management and support he and they needed. Now it is a double tragidy.

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