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Man fatally shot victim, then himself in Hammond

Sun-Times file photo

A man fatally shot a 57-year-old man and then himself Monday in northwest Indiana.

Officers conducted a welfare check about 9 a.m. at a home in the 7000 block of Birch Avenue and found 57-year-old John Horvat dead in a front room, according to Hammond Police Lt. Steven Kellogg.

Horvat, who lived on the same block, had suffered a single gunshot wound to the head, Kellogg said. His death was ruled a homicide, according to the Lake County coroner’s office.

There was no forced entry to the home and no signs of a burglary.

Detectives identified 56-year-old Bruce Craft as the primary suspect, and entered his vehicle information into Hammond’s Blue Net license plate reader and immediately received its last-known location, Kellogg said.

About 2:25 p.m., officers checked the area and found his vehicle in a parking lot in the 7900 block of Indianapolis Boulevard and found a vehicle matching its description, Kellogg said.

As they approached the vehicle, they found Craft in the front seat with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest, Kellogg said. His death is being investigated as a suicide.

Detectives are investigating a financial motive for the crime, Kellogg said, but the investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with additional information is asked to call Det. Sgt. Dan Bates at (219) 852-2979.