2 women taken hostage in Chicago; gunman fires on police in hours-long standoff


Thursday, November 23rd 2006, 11:17 am
By: News On 6


CHICAGO (AP) _ Two women were taken hostage inside their Chicago apartment building early Thursday, sparking a police standoff that stretched more than 10 hours.

The women were being held by a gunman in his 20s or 30s who fired at police at least once, and officers were negotiating with the suspect by phone, police spokeswoman Monique Bond said.

``We don't actually know what precipitated it,'' Bond said. ``Time's on our side in situations like this. Hopefully it'll be resolved soon and the outcome will be a safe one.''

Bond said the man's family was on the scene helping police negotiators.

The standoff in the city's South Shore neighborhood began about 2:30 a.m. after a 911 call about gunshots in the building. The police department's hostage barricade terrorist team responded, and officers surrounded the three-flat building, police said.

No injuries were reported, Bond said. She described the female hostages as young adults, but did not know their ages or relationship to the gunman.

Police surrounded the building, which sits among brick houses and apartment buildings. Authorities also closed several blocks and surrounded the scene with yellow police tape while neighbors walked by with groceries.

Gwendolyn Hodges, 48, who lives in the building where the hostages were being held, said she spent the morning in her car, waiting to be allowed inside so she could start preparing for a Thanksgiving meal with her family.

``This is ridiculous,'' she said. ``What kind of holiday is this for people?''