Suburban cop wrongly accused of shootings files lawsuit

October 14, 2011

The Associated Press

(AP/File)
Brian Dorian leaves an attorney's office near the Will County Courthouse in Joliet, Ill. on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010.

A suburban Chicago police officer who was wrongly accused of a deadly rural shooting spree in Illinois and Indiana filed a federal lawsuit Thursday alleging he was framed by authorities who knew he was innocent.

Brian Dorian alleges in the lawsuit that Will County, Ill., Sheriff Paul Kaupas, State's Attorney James Glasgow and a sheriff's detective conspired against him even though they knew he wasn't the gunman. The 38-year-old Lynwood Police Department patrol officer is seeking more than $2 million in damages.

The October 2010 shootings left one person dead and two others injured. The case attracted national attention because Dorian was a police officer and because the gunman was initially dubbed "the honeybee shooter" because he had reportedly asked at least one victim about honeybees before opening fire.

Police later said Gary Amaya, 48, of Rankin was the shooter. Amaya was killed in December with his own gun during what police said was an attempted robbery of a tanning salon in suburban Chicago.

Dorian's lawsuit alleges authorities arrested him based on "alleged coerced and influenced information" from one of the victims and that they withheld information that would have helped Dorian. It also alleges Dorian was arrested even though no evidence was found in his home, he didn't fit the suspect's physical description or drive a vehicle that matched a description of the suspect's vehicle.

Dorian said he told authorities that he was on his computer at the time the Oct. 5, 2010 shootings occurred. He spent four days in jail before he was released after he was cleared by forensic computer evidence that showed he was at home when the shootings happened.

Will County officials said Dorian's lawsuit "misrepresents" the investigation into the shootings.

"The investigation was conducted according to the letter of the law," said a statement from the Will County Sheriff's Department and Will County State's Attorney's office. "We are confident a court will find the actions of the parties named as defendants in this lawsuit to be justified after all of the evidence is presented."

At the time, a sheriff's office spokesman said investigators acted properly, saying that while there was no physical evidence linking Dorian to the shootings, there was compelling circumstantial evidence — including a witness who twice identified Dorian as the shooter.

The sheriff's office also said Dorian was released as soon as investigators determined there was no evidence linking him to the shootings. The office also accused Dorian of bearing some responsibility for his arrest, saying he waited days before he provided specifics about what he was doing the morning of the shootings

The shootings began the morning of Oct. 5 at a rural construction site in Illinois. The gunman shot and killed Rolando Alonso, 45, of Hammond, Ind., and wounded Joshua Garza, a 19-year-old from Dyer, Ind. Later, farmer Keith Dahl, 64, was wounded near Lowell, Ind.