SWAT Team Called to Gurnee Neighborhood for Armed Intruder

Neighbor provides first-person account of standoff in his cul-de-sac. Incident caused two Gurnee schools to be on lock-down Oct. 19.

Police have taken a 34-year-old man from Zion into custody after an armed standoff in a residential neighborhood Friday morning. 

Tom Agos, crime analyst with the Gurnee Police Department, said the initial call came in at 6:49 a.m. Oct. 19 for a domestic disturbance at 4430 Raven Court.

"There were four people inside the home at the time, all known to the gunman. They were all able to escape," Agos said. "That left the gunman inside the home alone."

He said officers began communicating with the man barricaded inside the home, whose name has not yet been released. The SWAT team was also called in.

"There are two schools in the vicinity," Agos said, "so the decision was made by us and District 121, the high school district, and District 56, the elementary district, to put the two schools in lockdown this morning."

Busses had not yet arrived at the schools, so there were very few students in the buildings at the time. Students were rerouted to Viking School, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The suspect was taken into custody at 10:32 a.m., Agos told Patch. The school lockdowns have since been lifted. No injuries were reported.

"He was taken in without incident," Agos said. "This was not a random act. He did know the residents of the home."

Officers are still on the scene collecting evidence, Agos said. The Gurnee Police Department is currently reviewing the incident with the State's Attorney's Office and expects to have charges filed soon.

"Fortunately, there were no injuries," Agos said.

A Neighbor's Account

Brent and Doneda Downs live across the cul-de-sac where the standoff took place.

Brent Downs said they received an emergency alert notification from the village early this morning encouraging them to stay inside.

"It basically said 'someone across the street has a weapon and is holed up across the street' so we knew we weren't going anywhere," Downs said.

He and his wife have two young children, a 2-year-old son and an 8-week-old baby girl, so they all went into an upstairs bedroom to wait.

"The police were here right away and then the SWAT team started showing up in my front yard," he said. "We could see them parked near the Gurnee Village Hall, putting their gear on."

He said they were on scene in the cul-de-sac for about 2 1/2 hours.

"We appreciated the emergency alert from the village. It gave us enough information to know to stay inside," Downs said. "They were very professional about how they communicated with residents. They had people on the scene right away."

He said they felt safe even as the chaotic situation played out across the street.

"I knew these guys are trained professionals," Downs said. "I just wanted to stay in and out of their way."

Agos said that is exactly how the notifications are supposed to work.

"Emergency procedures are in place for these situations," he said, "Our priority to ensure that people are informed and stay safe."


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