Man dies from gunshot in Rantoul standoff

Man dies from gunshot in Rantoul standoff

UPDATE: 4:45 p.m.

RANTOUL — An armed robbery suspect who holed up in a Rantoul motel room for about seven hours early Tuesday, threatening to harm himself and police, was shot and killed by a Champaign police officer.

A release from Champaign police said the man, whose identity has not been released, was pronounced dead at 12:43 p.m. Tuesday at Carle Foundation Hospital from a single gunshot wound.

The shot was fired around 10:30 a.m. after continued negotiations to coax him out of a second-floor room at the Days Inn, 801 W. Champaign Ave., failed.

"This is an unfortunate incident that we all hope never faces our community," said Rantoul Police Chief Paul Farber. "We strive to preserve the lives of all people and are deeply affected at the loss of any life."

Rantoul Police Sgt. Justin Bouse said the armed robbery the man was suspected in occurred at the Hardee's, 326 S. Century Blvd. about 10:35 p.m. Sunday.

"He entered the store and after patrons left, confronted employees, displayed a handgun and ordered employees to the back of the store. He led one employee to the register where he took cash and cellphones from the employees. Nobody was hurt," Bouse said.

Bouse said police received information Monday night that the suspect — they had seen him on video surveillance from the Hardee's — was at the Days Inn. He declined to identify the man, but said he is not from Rantoul.

"Between 3 and 4 a.m., they tried to make contact with a man in one of the rooms. He made threatening statements to them and they could see what they believed to be a handgun in his waistband," Bouse said of the face-to-face encounter between officers and the man.

Bouse said after seeing the gun and hearing the threats, the officers backed off and the METRO team was summoned.

That team is made up of officers from the Rantoul, Urbana, Parkland College, University of Illinois police departments and the Champaign County sheriff's office. They were joined about 9 a.m. by members of the Champaign police SWAT team, the release said.

After spending a total of about six hours negotiating with the man without any cooperations, they threw tear gas into the room. While negotiating, he had made threats to harm himself, others in the area, and police, the release said.

"During the course of the resolution of the incident, a Champaign police officer fired one shot, striking the subject," the release said.

Officers and paramedics provided first aid at the scene before transporting the man to Carle.

The incident is under investigation by the Champaign County multi-jurisdictional use of force team. This investigation is being led by Illinois State Police.

More information is expected to be released Wednesday.

 

UPDATE: 10:57 a.m.:

An ambulance has left the scene of a standoff in Rantoul, with lights and siren on, and the incident there appears to be over.

News-Gazette photo editor John Dixon, who has been at the scene for much of the morning, said media were moved to the back of the nearby Circle K parking lot at 10:25 a.m. and the lot closed to others at 10:31. Over the next few minutes, several reports, not immediately in succession, sounded from the rear of the motel.

At 10:39, more officers started to move in to the back of the building and a moment later, police appeared to be standing down and withdrawing. At 10:49 a.m. an ambulance left the scene with lights and siren on.

Hotel customers are being told they will not be allowed back in for another three or four hours.


***

10:11 a.m. Tuesday

RANTOUL — A police standoff continues at a Rantoul motel, where a man believed to be armed is refusing to come out of a room.

Rantoul police Sgt. Justin Bouse said police are watching and waiting and "would like to resolve peacefully" the situation involving a man believed to be a suspect in an armed robbery that occurred at a local fast food restaurant Sunday night. 

Police from Rantoul, the Champaign County Sheriff's Office, the METRO team and Illinois State Police are at the Days Inn, 801 W. Champaign Ave., just east of Interstate 57. The stand-off has been going since about 3 a.m. Tuesday. Police have been in contact with the suspect since shortly after the ordeal began.

Patrons of the motel were evacuated not long after. 

Bouse said the robbery happened about 10:35 p.m. Sunday at the Hardee's, 326 S. Century Blvd.

"He entered the store and after patrons left, confronted employees, displayed a handgun and ordered employees to the back of the store. He led one employee to the register where he took cash and cellphones from the employees. Nobody was hurt," Bouse said.

Bouse said police received information Monday night that the suspect — they had seen him on video surveillance from the Hardee's — was at the Days Inn. He declined to identify the man, but said he is not from Rantoul.

"Between 3 and 4 a.m., they tried to make contact with a man in one of the rooms. He made threatening statements to them and they could see what they believed to be a handgun in his waistband," Bouse said of the face-to-face encounter between officers and the man.

Bouse said after seeing the gun and hearing the threats, the officers backed off and the METRO team was summoned.

Bouse said as far as police know, the man, whom they have identified, is alone in the room. Bouse said he may have been living in the area for a couple of months.

Roads around the motel, including Murray Road that leads to the Walmart, have been blocked off.

News-Gazette Photo Editor John Dixon said he spoke with Ronnie Hall, a Wheaton Van Lines mover, who was staying at the motel Monday night, planning to pick up a load of furniture in Champaign to head to St. Louis Tuesday.

His departure has been delayed as his company box truck is being used as a shield by METRO teams members. Dixon said an officer with a gun is currently under the truck.

Hall told Dixon he became aware of the commotion about 2:30 a.m., when someone was banging on the door to his room on the north side of the motel. The suspect is on the south side in a second-floor room.

"I thought someone was playing at the door," said Hall, who added that police came back and  evacuated motel patrons to the lobby at 3 a.m. Then, about 7:30 a.m. they were safely escorted across the street to the Circle K.

Another woman, who declined to give her name, said she was staying beneath the suspect's room on the south side of the motel when she woke to "banging on the door, flashlights and police." She and seven children staying with her were also taken to the lobby then later to the convenience store.  

 

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Walkingdead1 wrote on August 04, 2015 at 9:08 am

Do not give out officers locations on a live incident!   You are compromising their safety.  This guy might have access to your information.   

lcoil79 wrote on August 04, 2015 at 9:08 am

Maybe Mary was paid by the truck driver to write that so that he can move his truck.  Cause I bet you there isn't an officer there anymore.

Joe American wrote on August 04, 2015 at 10:08 am

Or maybe, just maybe, there isn't and never was a police located under the truck, but knowing that the assailant will probably be reading these stories from the room, that bit of misinformation was provided merely to throw him off of where the police actually were positioned.

Chris Trump wrote on August 06, 2015 at 11:08 pm

So they killed him and he had NO Gun