(ABC) — Officers fatally shot an armed jail inmate who took two nurses hostage at a hospital in northern Illinois on Saturday, several hours after the inmate stole a gun from the correction’s officer guarding him, authorities said.
A SWAT team quickly moved in to Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital in Geneva after negotiations broke down with the inmate Saturday afternoon, Kane County Sheriff’s Off6ice spokesman Patrick Gengler said. Gengler said one officer shot and killed the inmate, whom he identified as 21-year-old Tywon Salters.
The inmate initially took one female nurse hostage, but she was released at some point during the standoff. Salters then took another female nurse hostage, and she was with him when he was shot around 5 p.m., Gengler said.
The second nurse was “extremely emotional and upset” following the shooting, but appeared to be physically OK, Gengler said. She was quickly taken to another room in the hospital.
The standoff began around 12:30 p.m., when the inmate snatched a gun from a correctional officer at the hospital about 40 miles west of Chicago. The weapon was recovered at the scene.
Salters, who was being held on charges related to a stolen vehicle, had been in the Kane County Jail’s custody since April 11, and in the hospital since Monday, Gengler said. Gengler said he couldn’t release details about why Salter was hospitalized, citing federal privacy laws.
The standoff had been contained to one section of the emergency room as of late afternoon, when SWAT and crisis negotiation teams were called to the scene. Gengler said the hospital’s emergency room was quickly cleared, but patients elsewhere in the hospital weren’t evacuated.
The hospital went on lockdown, meaning no one was allowed on to the hospital’s campus.
“We were able to move patients out of the ER. Those that needed medical care were transferred to other hospitals,” hospital spokeswoman Kimberly Waterman said.
The hospital asked people to avoid coming to the area and to not come to visit patients during the standoff. Ambulances were on standby for anyone who arrived at the hospital in need urgent care, city spokesman Kevin Stahr said.
Kane County Sheriff officials have asked the State Police to investigate. An autopsy is pending.