Sheriff, Delnor evaluating protocols after hospital hostage situation
Authorities and hospital officials on Monday continued their probe of what led to -- and how to prevent in the future -- Saturday's hostage standoff at a Geneva hospital that resulted in the fatal shooting of a Kane County jail inmate.
Tywon Salters, who was jailed in mid-March on felony charges of possession of a stolen vehicle in Elgin, was recovering from surgery at Delnor Community Hospital when he disarmed a correctional officer, took two nurses hostage and triggered a lockdown. The standoff ended about three hours later when a Kane County SWAT team member entered the hospital and fatally shot Salters, a 21-year-old from Chicago.
Kane County sheriff's Lt. Pat Gengler said Monday officials plan to interview the jail guard this week, along with a host of hospital personnel and others who may have encountered Salters.
Sheriff's officials will also review the office's policies for guarding prisoners at the hospital going forward, he said.
"We're going to review everything," Gengler said. "Obviously, Delnor has surveillance (video) and we'll review that as well. It's part of the whole puzzle, so to speak. We're looking at what happened prior to the standoff."
Delnor spokesman Chris King said Monday it would be premature for the hospital to disclose information about the hostage standoff while the investigation is ongoing.
"It all happened in a small time frame of a couple of hours," he said. "We're still going through a review of everything that occurred."
The hospital, while working closely with authorities, is also evaluating whether its procedure for such a situation was correctly followed Saturday afternoon, King said.
"We think that it was," he said, but he added it's too early to declare whether internal protocol fixes are needed.
Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon said the hostage situation began in Salters' hospital room on the third floor when he took a 9 mm handgun from the correctional officer, who was able to escape. Salters took one nurse hostage and then released her when he took a second nurse hostage.
The lockdown of the hospital campus started after a 911 call was issued about 12:59 p.m., at which point Salters had moved with the second hostage near the first-floor emergency department.
The SWAT team entered the hospital, and an officer shot Salters just before 4 p.m., McMahon said. Salters received immediate medical attention but was pronounced dead minutes later.
Salters had been in the hospital since May 8 after eating part of a plastic sandal issued to him by the jail, McMahon said. The plastic piece was surgically removed, though authorities are unsure whether his release from the hospital had been scheduled.
Though no surveillance cameras were in the hospital room, Gengler said authorities will review other hospital security videos.
King said he did not have any information regarding the conditions or identities of the two nurses held hostage.
Gengler said the officer who was disarmed by Salters has been put on paid administrative leave as part of the department's policy. There is no alternative "desk duty" for jail guards, he said.
"We don't expect him to come to work after something like this," Gengler said.
The SWAT officer who shot Salters has also been placed on administrative leave, McMahon said. Gengler said the officer works for the North Aurora Police Department.
The Illinois State Police's Public Integrity Unit is conducting a separate investigation of the use of force in the SWAT team's shooting of Salters and will send its findings to the Kane County state's attorney's office. A state police spokesman said in an email Monday the agency would not release any additional information.