RACINE, Wisc. — The 51-year-old suspect in the homicide of Racine firefighter Chris Lalor fatally shot himself in Florida Wednesday, according to the Racine Police Department.
Peter James Lui was charged with first degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon on Monday. A search warrant was also issued for his arrest before being found dead in Jacksonville.
A criminal complaint released Wednesday states Lalor's mom found the firefighter dead in the basement of his home on Pinehurst Avenue shortly before noon on Sunday. The complaint states five 9mm fired casings were found near Lalor's body. However, no firearm was found on scene. The complaint also states there was no signs of forced entry.
Neighbors told investigators that Lalor allegedly planned to go to Bucket Pubs with "Pete", now identified as Lui, on Friday, Feb. 18. According to the complaint, Lui was described as Lalor's longtime friend and former roommate. He was also known to drive an orange Honda Element.
A ring camera recorded an orange SUV arriving near the home on Pinehurst around 3:30 p.m. Friday and then leaving between 6:30 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. that night, authorities say.
According to the complaint, that same night Lui allegedly changed his Facebook profile picture to a Viking with the words "That which does not kill me should run" before 9 p.m. He also changed his cover photo to a picture saying "Do not go gentle into that good night."
When investigators arrived at Lui's home, neighbors allegedly said they haven't seen Lui in days. According to the complaint, when investigators did an emergency ping of Lui's cell phone, they found it abandoned on a curb.
During a search warrant of Lui's apartment, it allegedly appeared Lui had left in a hurry with many of his belongings gone. The complaint states a suitcase was out and partially packed.
The complaint also states that numerous guns and ammunition were found in Lui's apartment. Two guns were not accounted for, including a 9mm handgun and larger 9mm gun. The casings found near Lalor's body were all 9mm casings.
- Death of Racine firefighter being investigated as homicide
- Racine Fire Department remembers firefighter Chris Lalor
Lalor was a 21-year veteran of the the fire department. His colleagues described him as someone they could always rely on.
"At work you didn't have to ask him to come help you in the kitchen, he was already there. You didn't have to ask him to come help check out the truck in the morning to make sure everything was in it's place and ready to go," Capt. Craig Ford said on Tuesday during a press briefing.
The fire department said it is continuing to grieve the loss, but will keep Lalor's memory close.
"There's not going to be a day that goes by that we're not going to think of him. When we see engine five, we'll think about Chris," said Assistant Chief Brain Wolf.