Reward up to $50K in shooting death outside Naperville school

  • Matthew Lange, 37, of Oswego, was shot and killed Jan. 27 while waiting for his son outside a school in Naperville. Police say an anonymous donor has increased the reward being offered to $50,000.

    Matthew Lange, 37, of Oswego, was shot and killed Jan. 27 while waiting for his son outside a school in Naperville. Police say an anonymous donor has increased the reward being offered to $50,000. Courtesy of Naperville police

 
 
Updated 7/26/2017 2:12 PM

An anonymous donor has increased the reward for information that cracks the case of an Oswego man who was shot to death while waiting for his son outside a Naperville school.

The donor now is offering $45,000 for information that leads to an arrest and prosecution in the Jan. 27 death of Matthew Lange, a 37-year-old assistant professor at Lewis University in Romeoville and father of one. That's on top of a reward of up to $5,000 offered by Naperville Crime Stoppers for information that leads to an arrest, making the total reward $50,000.

 

"We know there are people out there who know what happened, and they need to come forward," Lange's mother, Sandra Lange of Aurora, said Wednesday.

Police so far have not identified any suspects or people of interest in Lange's death, Naperville police Cmdr. Lou Cammiso said.

"We believe there's still someone in the public that can help us," he said. "We're in need of additional tips and leads."

Lange was shot while inside his car in the parking lot of Scullen Middle School at 2815 Mistflower Lane on Naperville's south side, police said. He was waiting for his son, who was attending Helena Modjeska Polish School, which rents space at Scullen for Friday classes from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Police have said students and instructors at the school were participating in a reception on the far side of the building and did not witness the shooting. But when a staff member's husband arrived and found the windows of Lange's silver Hyundai broken but the radio still on, school officials called 911.

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Police continue to seek any witnesses who saw the shooting, which took place about 7 p.m. They also are looking for anyone with information about Lange or his vehicle on Jan. 27 and the days leading up to it, because details of his whereabouts may assist with the investigation.

Lange's mother said the family is "very pleased" with everything police have done to try to solve her son's shooting death, which has been classified as a homicide. Cammiso said the department assigned a liaison to communicate regularly with the family and provide updates.

Barbara Panczyk, principal of Helena Modjeska Polish School, said the last update she received from police was in the spring, likely around March. She said parents remain curious about who killed Lange, but when she asked if they wanted to pay extra to hire a police officer to patrol during classes, parents chose not to.

In the weeks after the shooting, Panczyk said attendance at the school was down, and roughly 10 of the school's 190 students never came back after Lange was shot. The school's new year begins Sept. 8 and classes will continue to take place at Scullen.

"We'd like to know who did it, but we don't know anything," Panczyk said. "So far I think most of the parents, they think they are safe and their kids are safe in the school. I think that everything is OK. But I know it will be better if they will catch someone. It's still a mystery."

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