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Police say that witness struck gunman with SUV in Lake Forest murder-suicide

Claire VandLandingham and Ryan Zike

Police said on Wednesday that a witness to the Lake Forest murder-suicide two weeks ago rammed the gunman with his SUV.

The Lake Forest Police Department responded at 6:20 a.m. on January 3 to a report of gunshots heard in the 600 block of North Western Avenue in Lake Forest.

Police officers found a man, identified as 33-year-old Ryan Zike of Louisville, Kentucky, dead in the parking lot behind the Dunkin’ Donuts at 620 North Western Ave, and a woman, identified as 27-year-old Claire Vanlandingham of Lake Forest, who was shot multiple times. The woman was transported to Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital where she died from her injuries.

Lake Forest police said that this was a domestic dispute between the man and woman. According to the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force, Vanlandingham and Zike were in a prior relationship that ended in early October of this year.

The Lake County Coroner’s Office said an autopsy performed on Vanlandingham showed that she died from injuries related to multiple gunshot wounds. An autopsy performed on Zike showed that he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Toxicology results are pending on both.

The shooting happened in the parking lot behind this Dunkin’ Donuts | Photo by Google Street Images

On Wednesday, police released more details into what happened. Officials said that Zike approached VanLandingham as she was leaving her apartment for work.

The two had a brief conversation in the parking lot of the apartment complex when Zike then pulled a semi-automatic pistol and shot VanLandingham several times. After shooting VanLandingham, Zike shot himself in the head. He was then struck by a witness driving a Land Rover Discovery SUV who said that he feared the gunman might have shot him, police said.

Authorities said the witness, who is an active member of the United States Navy, was a co-worker of VanLandingham and had arrived to pick her up for work. He witnessed the conversation and subsequent shooting.

Autopsy results showed that Zike died from the self-inflicted gunshot wounds moments before being struck by the car. The car did not cause major trauma to Zike, the coroner said.

Lake Forest police said that two pistols and a knife were recovered in Zike’s possession at the scene. They also said that he had a valid Kentucky concealed carry gun permit.

Police said this is an isolated incident and there is no danger to the community.


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