Hostage situation


Police closed off a large segment of Palatine Road during the standoff. / PHOTO BY ALEX V. HERNANDEZ


Police set up a perimeter, blocked off a large stretch of Palatine Road and tried to talk Anderson into peacefully surrendering. Meanwhile, news media and neighbors stood in the bitter cold watching the standoff while news helicopters hovered overhead. -via The Bugle

Around 8:50 p.m. Thursday night I got a bulletin that read: “Arlington Heights police officer shot & wounded, possible hostage situation for shooter.” I was at a family function when I found out the officer was reportedly shot in the neck and was taken nearby to Advocate Lutheran in Park Ridge (one of the suburbs I cover). A few seconds later my editor texted asking if I was following the hostage situation. I was going to have to bail on my family and haul ass to the burbs.

So while everyone was trying to get a family photo with my visiting cousin I was typing furiously on my laptop to confirm the address of the town home the gunman was holed up at.

“Hey what’s taking you so long, your cousin has to leave soon,” said my mom.

“Some cop was shot in the neck. Gotta go,” I said.

I grabbed my gear, said goodbye and headed out. I was afraid that by the time I got there I would have missed everything. I didn’t, I could hears the news choppers still hovering overhead.

I parked a block away and walked down the street to the scene. A cop blocking the street asked me what I was doing. I told him I was a reporter covering the hostage situation and asked him where the “broadcast jockeys” had set up. He pointed me to a parking lot across street from the town home filled with news vans and video cameras/studio lights and other reporters. He then went back to work.

I turned on my cameras, got my levels and started live tweeting.

Waiting around for something to happen and talking to bystanders seemed like an eternity because the windchill made it feel like 10 degrees. My hands became numb and I was trying to keep my cameras’ batteries and my phone warm so they didn’t lose their charge.

Around 10:30 p.m. I saw a few shadows move rapidly towards the side of the house. Seconds latter I heard: BAPT! BAPT! BAPT! It was gunfire, the SWAT team had “forcefully” entered town home where a gunman was holding a woman hostage.

It all happened so quickly and before I knew it I was listening to a police commander’s official statement on the situation and then rushing to my car to type the story on my phone with frozen fingers. I clicked publish as my fingers started to regain feeling, tingling with pins and needles.Ω

Notes from the peanut gallery.

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