04/03/2013 02:22 pm ET

Vernon Hills Police Shooting: Man With Death Wish Shot After Pointing Gun In Police Station

A man who said he's facing a terminal illness was shot inside the Vernon Hills, Ill. police station Wednesday after allegedly pulling a gun on an officer in the suburban Chicago station's lobby.

According to police, a handwritten note was found in the suspect’s pocket that read: “I apologize for placing your officers in this position. I am dying from cancer and couldn’t do the deed myself,” reports CBS Chicago.

Howard R. Lazarus, 43, came to the station just after midnight saying he had been involved in an accident and wanted to file a report, police authorities say, according to the Tribune.

Once the officer tried to assist Lazarus, he allegedly pulled out what appaered to be a 9mm handgun — but was later found to be a replica. Lazarus walked toward the officer with the gun and refused to drop it after allegedly being told several times to disarm, WGN reports.

"There was a slight stand down where the gentleman was asking to be shot by the officer and then made moves to shoot the officer," said Vernon Hills Police Officer Sharon Joseph told ABC Chicago. "So, the officer did fire two shots. One struck the subject in the abdomen, the other went through the front door of the police lobby."

Lazarus was taken to the hospital and is listed in fair condition; he's charged with one count of aggravated assault, a Class IV felony.

Per standard practice, the officer, a 12 year veteran of the force, was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.