Beloit Murder

By: Tina Stein
By: Tina Stein

Beloit Police are questioning two men linked to Monday's homicide in Beloit. Police say Byron Stewart also known as Byron Hendricks and Thomas Conner are possible suspects in the murder of 35-year-old Carlos Lak. The men are accused of shooting Lak in the 12-hundred block of Eighth Street in Beloit.

When police responded, they saw the suspects' vehicle speed off, which then later crashed into a pole. Police say they're thankful officers were immediately on their tail.

"We're very fortunate that our officer was in the right place in the right time that's what makes us feel good about this investigation and we're looking forward to a quick conclusion," Chief Norman Jacobs says.

Stewart is being held in the Rock County Jail. And Conner is being cared for at the Beloit Hospital for a leg injury he sustained during Monday's car crash. He is being monitored by Beloit Police.

Baseball was Lak's biggest passion. So when the giants asked him to leave the Dominican Republic for a baseball career, he knew he hit a home run.

Lak played in the minors for a few years and then settled here in Rockford. He married, had a daughter and spent his weekends traveling as a spectator to baseball games. After a few years his now ex-wife says alcoholism took the best of him, resulting in a troublesome lifestyle. He was arrested for breaking into his ex-wife's home, which she says was due to emotions regarding their divorce.

In 2002, Lak suffered a spinal cord injury and could only get around through a wheel chair. He's been going to therapy and just recently his ex-wife says he was able to walk again. She says it's a shame his life had to end this way when he was finally turning it around.

Many of the neighbors that live near Lak claim to know very little about him. Right now, two roses lay on his front door step in memory of the former baseball star. But just a few blocks away, many residents are haunted with Monday's events. One mother says she was so scared, she had to hide in her own home after seeing police surrounding her neighborhood.

"Hurry up and get into the house and be safe because as they were running in with guns I knew it was going to be something pretty bad," the witness says, who prefers to remain anonymous.

Neighbors say this part of town has been having a lot of problems with violence lately, some already putting their homes on the market to move to a safer area.


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