A 38-year-old man threatening to take his life was taken to the hospital for evaluation after a standoff that brought SWAT teams and a huge presence of heavily armed police into downtown Arlington Heights Saturday night, police said.
The man, who was uninjured, had fired several shots inside a sixth floor condominium where he lives with his mother, police said. Authorities said it's possible charges could be filed later this week.
At approximately 5:20 p.m., police received a report of gunshots being fired inside the condominiums located at 1 N. Chestnut. Officers responded and began to make their way up the stairwells in the building to deal with the threat. Once they had reached the fifth floor of the building and realized that they were already on the top floor they received notification that the correct location was 151 W. Wing St. Several other responding units also heard gunshots, police said in a news release.
A woman inside a unit on the sixth floor called 911 and told police her son was despondent and threatening to take his life, police said. The woman said her son, who is 38 and lives with her, had a gun in his possession and fired several shots inside the unit.
The woman was able to disarm her son, who handed the weapon to his mother, but he removed the gun magazine before relinquishing the weapon, police said. The woman was able to flee the condominium and was taken into protective custody by officers, while her son remained inside the unit.
Since it wasn't known if the suspect had additional weapons and he refused to leave the condominium, the Northern Illinois Police Alarm System was activated, police said. An exterior perimeter of the downtown area was immediately established and secured by police from numerous agencies.
Upon the arrival the police alarm system, a coordinated effort was initiated by Arlington Heights police supervisors and police alarm staff to get the man to surrender. About 8 p.m. after numerous attempts to have the suspect exit got no response, officers forced their way in and the subject was taken into custody unharmed, police said.
He was transported to Northwest Community Hospital for an evaluation. The police criminal investigation unit will follow up, with assistance from the Cook County state's attorney's office, to determine whether any charges will be filed.
The episode unfolded in front of the many people who were at restaurants and stores in the downtown area. All businesses remained open during the standoff, though access to some streets and buildings was limited or blocked.
Amy Philpott, the owner of Tuscan Market at 141 W. Wing St., said residents of Wing Street Condominiums at 151 Wing St. came into her shop on the first floor of the same building saying they heard the shots fired.
An employee of Ttowa Korean restaurant at 161 W. Wing St. said some customers remained in the restaurant during the incident because they were afraid to leave, but no new ones were coming in.
Giovanni Senafe said he was at Ttowa and a customer said he heard two gunshots. “And all of a sudden all the cops pull up,” he said. “They're pulling all their shotguns out of the trunk. It was all Arlington cops at first.”
Police from other departments around the suburbs began arriving and began moving people back from the area, Senafe said. “The Derby just finished and nobody knows when they're walking in” what's going on, he said.
“You just think of what could happen, and you hope everything's OK,” Philpott said.
• Daily Herald staff writers Kerry Lester and Eric Peterson contributed to this report.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.