Scott B. Peters had been on the loose for almost 16 hours, but he didn't get more than 6 miles away from where authorities say he shot two McHenry County sheriff's deputies who were responding to a domestic disturbance.
Peters, 52, of the 1300 block of Northeast Shore Drive in Holiday Hills, was arrested without incident just before 5 p.m. Thursday near Route 176 and Smith Road in Crystal Lake after he was spotted by two passers-by, who told police they saw a suspicious man walking out from a wooded area.
The capture came after a manhunt throughout the quiet Holiday Hills subdivision just west of River Road where the shootout with police occurred, and the surrounding area.
The two deputies who were shot suffered "severe" injuries and are resting comfortably in separate hospitals, authorities said. Both required surgery Thursday.
Tim Kindstrom was driving home from work on Smith Road when he said he saw sheriff's deputies taking Peters into custody. Kindstrom said one deputy had his knee in the suspect's back, trying to restrain him on the ground, while another deputy appeared to be calling on his radio for backup.
"Literally as I was (driving) through, what I can only describe as 10 cop cars came 100 mph down the street," Kindstrom said. "You know 10 cop cars are not going to come for just some random person."
Peters was wanted on two counts of attempted murder and two counts of aggravated battery with a firearm after, police say, he shot the two deputies responding to the domestic disturbance early Thursday morning.
"Neighbors who live in Holiday Hills can return to their homes now knowing that this incident is over and their neighborhood is safe," said McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren at a Thursday night news conference, just blocks from where the shootout took place.
Nygren said Peters fired several shots through a closed front door at officers as they arrived at the house about 1:15 a.m., then went outside and fired several more shots at officers. A third deputy on the scene returned cover fire for the two wounded officers, but it's possible Peters was able to escape during the commotion, the sheriff said.
One deputy, a 12-year veteran of the force, was shot in the right leg. She was taken to Centegra Hospital-McHenry and listed in stable condition throughout the day. The second officer, a seven-year veteran, was shot in the leg and the abdomen. He was taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville. Both officers had surgery Thursday afternoon but were resting comfortably, authorities said.
"It's going to be a long road for them to recover," Nygren said. "Their injuries were severe."
Authorities have identified two people in the home when the shooting took place as Peters' wife and 12-year-old daughter, both of whom were uninjured and are said to be cooperating with police.
Nygren said there had been no history of domestic disturbances at the household before Thursday.
He said Peters served in the military but does not have special forces experience. The sheriff did not know whether Peters was employed and said he may have been on disability.
Authorities said the initial 911 call came from a friend of Peters' wife, who was called during the domestic disturbance. That woman asked police for a well-being check.
Though authorities considered Peters to be armed and dangerous, he didn't have any weapons on him when he was taken into custody by three sheriff's deputies. Nygren said investigators will be searching near Peters' house for a rifle they believe he had.
Police canvassed the neighborhood throughout the day, knocking on doors and talking with people in the subdivision. Heavily armed police officers blocked vehicles from entering the subdivision through Sunset Drive, multiple K-9 units were seen in the area, and numerous squad cars were visible racing to the subdivision throughout the day.
Some 250 police officers were involved in the search, including law enforcement agencies from McHenry, Lake and Cook counties, Illinois State Police, U.S. Marshals and the FBI. Three aircraft also helped search the area.
"We had just a tremendous response," Nygren said.
Numerous schools near the area were also placed on soft lockdown during the search.
Residents of Holiday Hills were unable to return to their homes for much of the day Thursday and milled about on a grassy area nearby. Many were in shock over the shooting.
"It's such a quiet neighborhood," said Christopher Johnson. "But these things do happen and can happen anywhere."
Nygren said a McHenry County sheriff's deputy was last shot in the early 1980s. But Thursday's shootout hasn't fazed the department.
"We're fine. This is what were trained to do," Nygren said. "Domestic violence can turn into a deadly situation not only for those involved but for the men and women who respond to it."
Peters is due in court 8:30 a.m. today at the McHenry County courthouse in Woodstock.