Killing of inmate who held nurses hostage at Geneva hospital ruled justified

The killing of a Kane County jail inmate who took nurses hostage in May 2017 when he was a patient at Delnor Hospital was justified, Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon announced Thursday.

No criminal charges will be pursued against North Aurora Police Officer Christopher Joswick, who fired the shot. Joswick was a member of countywide SWAT team May 13, 2017, at the Geneva hospital.

McMahon's news release made no mention of allegations that the county corrections officer assigned to guard Tywon Salters that day had left Salters unshackled, or that after Salters overpowered him and took his gun, the officer hid in another hospital room rather than alerting hospital staff and police. Those allegations were made in a federal lawsuit filed by the second nurse who was taken hostage and several other nurses involved. They are suing guard Shawn Loomis, the sheriff's department and the hospital's security contractor.

According to the news release, Salters held one of the nurses in a small room off the emergency department.

Authorities tried negotiating his surrender for several hours.

When officers heard a gunshot, they entered the room and saw Salters holding the nurse in front of him with his left arm, while pointing a handgun at officers with his right hand, according to the news release.

The officer then fired three shots, killing Salters.

McMahon determined the officer had a "reasonable belief" it was necessary to use force "intended to cause death or great bodily harm, to prevent death or great bodily harm to the officer, Nurse #2, and other responding officers, and therefore the officer's use of force was justified."

Loomis remains on paid administrative leave, according to sheriff's Lt. Pat Gengler.

He said the department has just received McMahon's review. It will discuss the report with attorneys representing the county in the federal lawsuit. The department "hopes to have a release of the results of our internal investigation within the coming weeks," Gengler said.

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  A Kane County sheriff's deputy waits outside the Emergency Department at Delnor Hospital in Geneva, when the hospital was locked down because a jail inmate had taken a nurse hostage in May 2017. John Starks/
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