PORTER, Ind. -- Mike Anton was recently startled awake in the middle of the night, but not by an intruder or a noise. It was the memory of Rick Pinkerton, his dead friend.
Pinkerton, 56, was gunned down at the front door of his home May 30, apparently by someone posing as a pizza delivery driver. The slaying is oddly similar to a 13-year-old killing in Illinois, but so far it has only mystified authorities and frightened residents like Anton.
''I don't think I have any enemies. But this makes you think that maybe you're not safe,'' he said. ''That's an eerie, uncomfortable, foreign feeling for us in this community.''
The death of Pinkerton, co-owner of P&P Pinkerton Fuels & Lubricants, was the first murder in 16 years in this town of 4,000 near the Indiana Dunes along Lake Michigan.
Porter attracts tourists who stroll along its lakefront park, go swimming, fishing, hiking, picnicking or camping. Visitors come for its maple syrup, antiques, quaint farms and wineries.
The killing left more than Anton sleeping uneasily.
''Probably what this means is that we're just like any other city,'' Town Council President Eugene Bodnar said. ''Anything can happen to anybody.''
Police believe the gunman parked in front of Pinkerton's business and walked a quarter of a mile through the woods to his ranch-style home. Then the killer rang the doorbell.
Pinkerton responded and was hit twice, glass shattering around him.
Police found three shell casings and two Pizza Hut boxes with the name ''Martinez'' on them. In the nearby woods, police found a backpack containing a ski mask, knife, camouflage bandanna, binoculars and a towel.
''It almost has the ring of a gangland hit,'' Anton said. ''That's really scary.''
Pinkerton's girlfriend, who had been watching TV during the shooting, heard words exchanged before the gunfire but couldn't hear what was said, police say. Authorities are withholding her name for her protection.
The murder is vaguely similar to the unsolved slaying of an Amoco Oil Co. executive in the Chicago suburb of Prospect Heights in 1987. A gunman shot Charles E. Merriam as he answered his front door; no one was ever caught.
Three shots were fired at each scene. One gun was used on Pinkerton; Merriam was shot twice with a .38 caliber pistol and once with a .25-caliber gun. Pinkerton was shot at 10 p.m.; Merriam was shot about 10:30 p.m.
''Both worked with Amoco and there were three shots fired at the front door, but that's where the similarities end right now,'' Assistant Police Chief Jim Menn said. ''But we're not ruling anything out.''
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