Police went in because things were getting "dicey," he said."Things were just not moving at all, and that always worries people."The situation
had started Tuesday, with a report of a burglary. He said two men were in custody and the house where the standoff occurred was being checked for any additional weapons."It was a thoughtful approach from beginning to end," Dart said, adding that there would be people second-guessing whether the situation
could have been resolved sooner.
SUN-TIMES REPORT August 20, 2014 9:37AM
A standoff in Harvey ended Wednesday morning, as two burglary suspects were arrested after being barricaded inside a home with hostages since Tuesday afternoon. The hostages were unharmed. | ABC7 Eyewitness News
Updated: August 20, 2014 10:38AM
A police standoff in Harvey ended Wednesday morning when police entered the home and safely secured the hostages, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said.
The hostages were not injured, and no shots were fired, Dart said, but that does not mean the suspects went easily.
“They didn’t surrender themselves,” Dart said.
An armored car was used to take down the front door of the Harvey home, Dart said. Officers then entered and found everyone in an upstairs bedroom. The remaining hostages were two adults and two girls, ages 12 and 6.
“It became clear we needed to enter the house,” Dart told reporters about 9:30 a.m.
The hostages were taken to the hospital to be checked out, Dart said. He said two men were in custody and the house where the standoff occurred was being checked for any additional weapons.
“It was a thoughtful approach from beginning to end,” Dart said, adding that there would be people second-guessing whether the situation could have been resolved sooner.
It was clear to Dart, he said, that this was the time to act. Police went in because things were getting “dicey,” he said.
“Things were just not moving at all, and that always worries people.”
The situation had started Tuesday, with a report of a burglary. Police responding to the neighborhood, near Sibley Boulevard and Hoyne Avenue, were fired upon by two men. One officer was hit the arm and taken to the hospital; the other was grazed by a bullet and treated at the scene.
They went into a nearby home and took several hostages. The home appeared to have been chosen at random; Dart said there were no known relationships between the suspects and the hostages.
Two children were released earlier, but as of Wednesday morning, the two suspects had remained in the home with two adults and two children.
Hostage negotiations were conducted by the Illinois State Police and Dart’s office. More than 20 other law enforcement agencies were involved.
Earlier Wednesday, Dart had said negotiators remained in constant touch with the suspects inside the home.
“We’re trying to make it clear to the people within the house that no one is going to get hurt,” Dart said.
Aftre the situation resolved, he said negotiators had “tried everything conceivable to get them to understand that we weren’t going away. “
Earlier, Harvey Police Chief Denard Eaves announced Rosa Parks Middle School would be closed Wednesday because of the ongoing situation.
Thornton High School will remain open, Eaves said, but students who live in the area near the standoff were not be required to attend.
“We don’t want students coming outside, standing on their bus routes,” Eaves said.
An alternate bus route along 150th Street was provided for students who would ordinarily be picked up along Sibley in the affected area, Harvey Mayor Eric Kellogg said Wednesday morning. Students will be picked up at 150th and Dixie Highway.
Over the course of several hours on Tuesday evening, the woman brought out four children, one by one: two 1-year-old boys, a 2-year-old boy and an 11-year-old boy. The children were taken to a local hospital for observation.
Authorities initially thought only two people were being held hostage inside the home on the 14700 block of Seeley. But throughout the day Tuesday that number was revised upward.
That’s because the men who took the hostages were not forthcoming with hostage negotiators, Harvey spokesman Sean Howard said.
“These numbers change when you depend on criminals to give you information,” he said. “As these victims have come out, an 11-year-old [released hostage] was able to articulate what was going on at the scene.”
After the situation developed on Tuesday, a consortium of south suburban law enforcement officers had descended on Harvey, where they were seen gearing up in fatigues, with body armor and assault-style weapons. An armored vehicle patrolled the alleyways near the home.
Officials identified the most severely wounded officer as Darnell Keel, an 18-year veteran of the force, who heads up the department’s sexual assault unit.
“He’s doing fine and in good spirits, and he said he wished he could get back out there and help his teammates,” Howard said. “He’s a man of faith thanking God that it was just his arm and not something else.”
Keel’s arm was broken by a gunman’s bullet, but he was treated at Christ Hospital and released. Another officer was grazed by a bullet. He was treated at the scene.
“Thank God that our officer is not injured more seriously than he was,” Harvey Police Chief Denard Eaves said. “Our main concern right now is the individuals inside the home. That’s what were focusing on right now: their safety.”
The incident started when a Harvey Police officer was responding to a call of a burglary in progress at a home about 12:50 p.m., Howard said.
Keel “saw a subject with a gun, there was an exchange of gunfire, and [Keel] was shot,” Howard said. After the suspect shot the officer, he ran into a nearby home, where he barricaded himself.
Officers from nearby Phoenix arrived on the scene shortly after Keel was wounded and dragged him to safety, Howard said.
Corey Campbell, who lives nearby, said he was just waking up when he heard gunfire.
“I woke up and heard about six shots, tires screeching, and I just heard some yelling,” Campbell said. “Next thing I know, we come out and see police everywhere.”
Contributing: Bryan Slodysko, Jon Seidel, Ashlee Rezin, Luke Wilusz