'Honeybee Killer' Killed in Robbery: Police Had the Wrong Guy

Linda Sharps

In less than eight minutes, the search for the elusive "Honeybee Killer" came to a dramatic end.

Over the weekend Gary Amaya, 48, entered a tanning salon in Orland Park and pulled out a 0.38-caliber handgun. Amaya ordered the female worker to tie herself up with rope in her chair, and as she began to do so, a customer entered the salon. Seeing what was happening, the man—Jason McDaniel, 29—offered Amaya cash, but was immediately ordered behind the counter.

Seconds later, Amaya fumbled with the rope and McDaniel charged the 330-pound man, grabbed the gun, and fired.

Authorities now believe that Amaya is the so-called "honeybee killer": ballistics tests have confirmed the weapon he used in the robbery matches the gun used in a shooting spree that happened in early October in which three men were shot, one fatally, near the Illinois-Indiana border. One victim had a conversation with the shooter about honeybees before he was shot, earning the man his nickname.

Amaya also resembles the police sketch of the killer, and his truck matches the description of the one seen at the earlier shootings.

More bizarre details are emerging about Amaya's actions before the robbery. Orland Park police say Amaya had solicited a prostitute on Friday night, and was in his truck with her around 1:30 a.m. on Saturday when he tried to put her in handcuffs. The woman fled the scene, though Amaya stole her purse. She claims that Amaya shot at her out the window of his truck as she ran away.

Eighteen hours later, her purse was recovered in Amaya's truck after the L.A. Tan shooting.

Police in Orland Park will not file charges against Jason McDaniel, who they said "showed extreme bravery and courage" for taking down Amaya. L.A. Tan gave him $5,000—and, amusingly, free tans for life.

Here's a sad twist to the whole story: a police officer in south Lynwood named Brian Dorian was initially arrested for the honeybee killings, but the murder charge filed against him was dropped when evidence from his personal computer showed he was home when the shootings occurred. Suspicions lingered, though—a victim's aunt voiced her skepticism over his innocence, saying her family might bring civil action against him.

Assuming Dorian is fully proven innocent, do you think he should sue over the false arrest?

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