Police are investigating after a United States Army veteran was shot to death in his Alabama home.
The shooting occurred at about 4:55 a.m. on Jan. 5, AL.com reported. Authorities believe Jonathan Michael Gilotti, 33, may have been shot by someone who was breaking into cars in his Hoover, Alabama, home.
Hoover police Capt. Gregg Rector said Gilotti was on his way to his early morning workout when he encountered the suspect. He was shot once and collapsed at his front door. Gilotti was pronounced dead at the scene.
Rector confirmed that Gilotti, a Connecticut native, served as a U.S. Army tank commander and a first lieutenant and platoon leader in the 12th Cavalry Regiment in the Iraq war.
Gilotti married his wife, Heather, in 2008 and they have two children together. He worked at a local State Farm claims office.
“Our hearts go out to his family, friends, and coworkers and he will be greatly missed,” State Farm spokesman Roszell Gadson told AL.com.
“I know from my perspective it angers us,” Rector said. “This victim was about as innocent of a victim as you could get.”
“This is an individual that served his country, he's a hard-working guy,” Rector added. “He lives in a nice subdivision. He's getting up early in the morning to go work out. He's providing for his family and kids and then he encounters some ruthless individual.
“It might have been the case where stealing something from a car is more important than human life.”
Police are investigating at least 10 car break-ins that occurred in the same neighborhood at the night of the shooting. Rector said they will be watching surveillance footage captured by homeowners in the area.
“We're obviously looking at every possible scenario,'” he added. “But he may have surprised someone breaking into cars in the neighborhood.”
In a 2007 article published by The Long Knife, Gilotti recalled a moment during his time in Baghdad when U.S. and Iraqi forces provided water to a neighborhood in the area.
“It took a water crisis to give U.S. and Iraqi forces an opportunity to earn the trust of the residents in the western neighborhood of Shula in the Iraqi capital,” Gilotti wrote.