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Robber killed in tanning salon linked to ‘honeybee’ killing?

JasMcDaniel man who shot robber

Jason McDaniel, the man who shot the robber

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Updated: December 13, 2010 4:14PM

Investigators are looking at a robbery suspect killed in Orland Park to determine if he may have been the gunman who in October killed one man and wounded two others in attacks in Will County and northwest Indiana, a law enforcement source said Sunday.

“We’re looking at a possible connection,” said the source about the suspected “honeybee” gunman.

The robbery suspect killed in Orland Park Saturday drove a vehicle that is “similar” to the blue pickup truck driven by that gunman, the source said.

Investigators also are checking the pistol used in the Orland Park attempted robbery to see if it matches the weapon used in the October shootings, the source said.

At L.A. Tan, a man entered the business about 6:30 p.m. and announced a robbery and pointed a handgun at a female employee. The man then ordered a female customer using a tanning bed to tie the hands and feet of the female employee with a rope he had brought with him, officials said. A few minutes later, a male customer entered the business and was ordered at gunpoint by the suspect to tie his hands together, according to police.

But the customer grabbed the gun. He shot the suspect twice, police said.

Nick Patel, owner and CEO of L.A. Tan, called the customer “a true hero.”

“I thank God I came in those doors to help those girls,” said Jason McDaniel, 29, a customer at L.A. Tan. “I thank God it was me.”

His first thought wasn’t shooting. He tried to offer money. He tried to reason.

“Man you don’t have to do this. I’ve got a little girl at home, I’m a new daddy,” McDaniel told the man. But that tactic wasn’t working. The gunman — a stocky, dark skinned white man in his late 30s to early 40s, McDaniel recalled — told him that he didn’t care. Instead, he ordered him to tie his hands.

When the gunman reached for the ropes he carried in a bag, McDaniel saw his chance and took it. Lunging at the unmasked man and knocking him to the ground, he then grabbed the gun from the counter where the man had left it.

The man fought back, and McDaniel shot him as the two struggled on the ground.

“Then I was standing up again and he was still grabbing for things in his pocket, so I shot him again.”

He doesn’t own a gun but he knew how to use one. He didn’t aim to kill. He just had to save those girls, and save himself, he said.

“I did what I had to do.”

In the so-called “honeybee” shootings, Lynwood cop Brian Dorian was intially charged in the case but the charges quickly were dropped.

Rolando Alonso, 45, was killed Oct. 5 in rural Beecher. Another victim, Joshua Garza, 19, was shot in his right eye. The gunman also shot Keith Dahl, 64, an Indiana farmer. The gunman asked Dahl about honeybees before he started shooting.

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