Man shoots self to death after holding hostages in Wheaton bank, police say
Video linkA police officer responding to a fake traffic accident report was overpowered and had his gun stolen by a man who fled into a downtown Wheaton bank, took as many as 12 hostages and kept them for three hours Friday afternoon. The man then shot himself to death.
The man was identified as Michael R. Long, 41, of 1400 block of Cantigny Way, Wheaton, according to the DuPage County coroner's office.
The Wheaton officer suffered superficial wounds, police said. There were no other reports of injuries.
"We're just thankful there were no other losses of life or other injuries," said DuPage County State's Atty. Joseph Birkett.
The standoff shut parts of Wheaton's downtown. Homes and businesses were evacuated and commuter train traffic was halted for hours.
The standoff at the Wheaton Bank & Trust, 211 S. Wheaton Ave., began when a 911 call from a cell phone at 1:28 p.m. reported a hit-and-run accident in the bank's parking lot.
When an officer responded, Long grabbed him from behind and put a knife to his throat, said Wheaton Deputy Police Chief Thomas Meloni. The two struggled and the officer was slashed across the arm. Long managed to wrest the gun from the officer, a 10-year member of the force, Meloni said.
The officer ran to his car to retrieve another weapon and Long bolted into the bank and ordered the 10 to 12 people inside to the floor, Meloni said. Police negotiated with him over the next several hours by calling the bank's telephone and a cell phone the crisis team managed to get to him.
"He was cooperating to the point where he would let the hostages go a couple at a time throughout the afternoon," Meloni said.
Several dozen people were evacuated from the three other floors of the bank building and from the basement.
Negotiations began to break off after a couple of hours and Long began closing the blinds on the bank windows while still inside with two hostages. At 4:15 p.m., officers heard a gunshot and stormed the building, where they found him dead of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. Police did not fire a shot, Meloni said.
The initial 911 call was phony, Meloni said. "It was a call to draw the officer there."
Investigators do not know what Long's motive may have been.
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