Originally appearing at buglenewspapers.com on Thursday, December 12, 2013
By Alex V. Hernandez | Staff Reporter | @TheAVHernandez
A 41-year-old Niles man became involved in an armed standoff with police after he allegedly shot an Arlington Heights police officer and took a woman hostage the evening of Dec. 12.
The alleged gunman was identified as Eric M. Anderson of Niles. After he was shot by police, he was taken to Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights and pronounced dead at 11:02 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.
The female hostage was also taken to a hospital after the standoff as a precaution but was unharmed.
“We knew who the offender was during the situation,” said Arlington Heights Police Cmdr. Andrew Whowell. “I’m not sure if he had contact with our agency, but I know that he has had police contact.”
Whowell said the incident began when police from his department responded to a domestic dispute call from a woman in the town home at 1900 Windham Court, Arlington Heights. The woman told police Anderson had come to her home despite a protection order taken out by her 39-year-old daughter against him in McHenry County.
By 6:50 p.m. Arlington Heights Police Officer Michael McEvoy, 52, and three other officers were at the town home and saw the woman that called had fled to a neighbor’s house while Anderson was allegedly holding her daughter hostage.
Soon after McEvoy was reportedly shot in the chin by the gunman. However Arlington Heights Deputy Fire Chief Ken Koeppen happened to be visiting in the 1900 block of Windham Court and rushed to the town home to help the wounded McEvoy.
“It was an act of God that [Koeppen] was visiting,” said Whowell, adding that he was “definitely an integral part” in saving McEvoy’s life.
McEvoy was taken to Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge where the 20-year veteran of the department was initially in critical condition.
After undergoing surgery, the officer’s condition had stabilized, officials said, and that his family was with him at the hospital.
The shooting of McEvoy led to a standoff between the gunman and police SWAT that lasted about three and a half hours. Anderson barricaded himself in the town home while allegedly holding the woman that put an order of protection against him hostage.
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.
Fred Troccoli, 39, lives in the neighborhood and said he saw police shoot out the street lights in front of the residence around 8:30 p.m. Whowell later said this was done for tactical purposes and to give police an advantage while they negotiated with Anderson
Around 10:30 p.m., police fired about three or four shots and appeared to have breached the town home.
Almost half an hour later Whowell said that Anderson had been shot after SWAT “forcefully” entered the residence, adding that the female hostage was unharmed.
At press time, no further details were available. Check back for updates.