Sheriff: Batavia man was on roof with rifle when shot
A 52-year-old Batavia Township man was atop his home's roof and pointing a large-caliber rifle at Kane County Sheriff's deputies when he was fatally shot by a sergeant, a sheriff's spokesman said Tuesday.
Luke Bulzak, of the 3S300 block of Elfstrom Trail, died from his injuries Monday night at Provena Mercy Medical Center in Aurora, said the Kane County Coroner's Office, which was awaiting autopsy results Tuesday.
Kane County Sheriff's Department Lt. Pat Gengler said deputies responded late Monday morning to call about a suicidal subject and found Bulzak on the roof.
"It gave him a vantage point of several houses, backyards and residents," said Gengler, who added Bulzak threatened deputies by pointing a rifle at them. "He pointed that gun at our officers."
Bulzak did not fire at authorities nor anyone else, Gengler said.
The sergeant, a 20-year department veteran, has been placed on administrative leave until an investigation by the sheriff's department and state police is complete. The Kane County State's Attorney's Office also will review any findings by state police.
Gengler declined to elaborate on additional aspects of the shooting, saying it was still under investigation and state police were still conducting interviews.
A woman who answered the door at the home Tuesday and identified herself as Bulzak's wife declined to comment.
Backyard neighbor Worth Hill said Bulzak was a former sheet metal worker who injured his shoulder several years ago and then learned he had Parkinson's disease. Hill said he was unaware of any domestic problems at Bulzak's home; Gengler said he also was unaware of deputies being call to the address before.
Hill said he went to the Bulzaks' home for a couple of drinks before fireworks July 4 and said the couple were in good spirits and had just fixed the lining on their backyard pool.
Hill said he was home Monday morning when sheriff's department squad cars pulled up and thought a neighbor had complained that Bulzak's large HAM radio tower was interfering with televisions.
Hill said he heard loud gunshots, ran outside and saw Bulzak's limp body hanging upside down from a tether or safety belt attached to the tower. Hill said he did not see Bulzak holding a rifle, but questioned if lethal force was needed if Bulzak was armed.
"Within 10 seconds I was out there and seen that he was hit. It was at least two shots, maybe three," Hill said. "He was two stories up. He was just like a sitting duck. He was no threat, unless he had a gun."
Gengler said Bulzak pointed the rifle at officers. "There's no doubt he was armed with the rifle," he said.
Gengler said the last time a Kane County Sheriff's deputy fired a weapon was in 2003 when returning fire from a suspect near Hampshire and Burlington who fired a shotgun at deputies. The man was not hit.