man from east Chicago shot dead on Christmas morning | Crime and courts








John J. Watkins, dossier, The Times


EAST CHICAGO – A holiday homicide marred the otherwise peaceful streets of east Chicago early on Christmas morning.

Eric Douglas, 32, of East Chicago, was shot and killed in the 3900 block of Alder Street, about three blocks from the Douglas Butternut Street home, around 1:45 a.m., according to the coroner’s office of Lake County and the East Chicago Police Department.

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East Chicago Deputy Chief Jose Rivera said officers were initially dispatched to the area after the department’s ShotSpotter tool indicated that four shots were fired nearby.

After police arrived, officers found Douglas face down on the sidewalk outside the Ralo Bar with an apparent gunshot wound to the head. Doctors declared Douglas dead at the scene, Rivera said.

According to Rivera, detectives attempted to speak to potential witnesses inside the bar, but the door was locked. When detectives knocked on the door, neither customers nor staff came to the door or opened it.

Rivera said East Chicago detectives planned to follow up with the bar owner and contact the Indiana State Excise Police “regarding previous issues with this establishment.”

According to court records, the bullet victim has spent most of the past 15 months locked up in the Lake County Jail awaiting trial on five felony counts arising from an incident on June 2, 2020 where Douglas allegedly wedged a State Soldier between two vehicles before the soldier shot through Douglas’ windshield, hitting him in the arm and pelvis.


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