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RACINE – A Racine man, accused in the shooting death of Racine firefighter Christopher Lalor, 50, in a southside home, reportedly committed suicide in Florida.

Peter James Lui, 51, of the 4000 block of Marquette Drive, was found dead of a “self-inflicted gunshot wound” in Jacksonville, Fla., according to the Racine Police Department, which was notified of the death Wednesday afternoon. Lui’s remains were positively identified.

Lui was charged by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office on Monday with first-degree intentional homicide-use of a dangerous weapon. A $500,000 warrant was issued for his arrest. Lui and Lalor were described as “longtime friends” and former roommates in the criminal complaint, which was released on Wednesday.

According to the criminal complaint, police investigators believe that Lalor was killed last Friday in his home in the 2900 block of Pinehurst Avenue. Lalor’s mother discovered Christopher Lalor’s body in the basement bar area of the home shortly before noon on Sunday. Racine Police investigators found “five fired 9mm casings” near the body and no firearm, the complaint stated. There were also no signs of forced entry into the home.

Last Seen on Friday

Lalor’s mother told investigators that she had last spoken with her son Friday morning when he had been at her house for about 20 minutes. She later sent him a text message on Saturday morning inquiring if he would be off work the following day so they could plan dinner. She became concerned when she didn’t receive a response and went to his house Sunday morning.

Upon arrival, Lalor’s mother was alarmed to see his vehicle in the driveway. She used her key to enter the front door. She discovered his body and called the police.

Police investigators learned in speaking with Lalor’s neighbors that he had plans to go to Buckets Pub with “Pete,” later identified as Lui, on Friday afternoon. The two had known each other for several years and had both lived in the Pinehurst Avenue home at one time. Neighbors told police that Lui drove an orange 2005 Honda Element SUV.

Investigators found images on a doorbell camera at a home in the 2900 block of Pinehurst that showed an orange SUV arrived at Lalor’s home at 3:33 p.m. Friday and had departed between 6:35 and 7:45 p.m. Friday, the complaint stated.

Meanwhile, Lalor’s mother told investigators that Lui had recently returned to Racine after moving to Hawaii and later Nevada.

Police learned that Lui was living at an apartment in the 4000 block of Marquette Drive. Investigators spoke with Lui’s landlord who said that he had lived there since October 2021 and provided them with Lui’s cell phone number.

Left in a Hurry; Facebook posts

Investigators could not locate Lui or the 2005 Honda Element at his residence. Neighbors told investigators that they had not seen him for several days and reported “this was unusual,” the complaint stated.

When the Racine County Communications Center did an emergency ping of Lui’s cell phone, investigators tracked it to the 1100 block of Three Mile Road. The cell phone was located about 300 feet west of Charles Street on the north curb line. Investigators believed that Lui may have been fleeing and had abandoned the phone so he couldn’t be tracked.

Lui’s vehicle was spotted by a license plate camera traveling southbound on I-90/94 at 1:42 a.m. Saturday.

Police executed a search warrant at Lui’s Marquette Drive apartment “and it was clear that Lui left in a hurry, taking many of his belongings with him,” the complaint stated. Investigators discovered a suitcase was out and partially packed. They also found “numerous guns and significant amounts of ammunition.” Investigators believed that two guns – a 9mm handgun and a larger 9mm gun – were not accounted for. Casings found at the murder scene were 9mm.

In a review of Lui’s Facebook social media profile, investigators were able to confirm his January 2022 profile photo with a state Department of Transportation photo. Two posts from Friday attracted investigators’ attention.

First, Lui updated his cover photo at 7:50 p.m. Friday as a picture with the statement “Do not go gentle into that good night.” Then, he changed his profile photo at 7:51 p.m. Friday with a picture of what appears to be a Viking with the words “That which does not kill me should run.” Both posts were made after the vehicle, which appeared to be Lui’s Honda, had left Lalor’s home.

The homicide remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact the RPD Investigations Unit at 262-635-7756. Those who wish to remain anonymous may contact Crime Stoppers at 262-636-9330 or through the Crime Stoppers app by using the p3 app.

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Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...