Sep 06

Wheaton Hostage Drama Ends With a Dead Suspect

A gunman who took a dozen hostages in a suburban Chicago bank after wresting a gun from a police officer Friday died after shooting himself in the head. Police did not disclose the gunman’s identity but just said he was about 50 years old.

The hostage incident began around 1:30 p.m. when a Wheaton police officer responded to a call of a hit-and-run accident near the bank. As soon as the officer arrived, the suspect grabbed the officer from behind holding a knife to his throat and demanded for his gun. The officer struggled to free himself resulting in a cut on his forearm but the suspect was able to take the gun and run the lobby of the Wheaton Bank Trust. The suspect ordered everyone to the floor.

Meanwhile, officers evacuated nearby businesses and homes and shut down streets and rail service while hostage negotiators talked to the gunman by phone. They were able to persuade him to release 10 hostages, leaving two behind. Following the release, the suspect closed the blinds and disconnected the phone contact with the hostage negotiators.

At about 4:15 p.m., everyone heard a single gunshot which caused police to rush into the bank where the gunman lay dead from a gunshot wound to the head. Other than the cut on the first police officer and the dead gunman, there were no other reported injuries.

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