Captain Joe Qualters of the Bloomington Police Department has issued a statement about the incident.
Qualters identifies the suspect in this afternoon’s hostage standoff as 50-year-old Richard North of Bloomington. At about 1:25 p.m., Qualters says, a 911 call reported a male holding a gun to the head of a female while walking south from the 1300 block of South Rogers Street. After a standoff in which North was reported to have pointed the gun at himself, at the hostage, and at officers, a police sniper from the Critical Incident Response Team fired a single shot at North, who dropped immediately. North was transported to IU Health-Bloomington, where he was pronounced dead. The female hostage, whom Qualters did not identify, was taken to the Bloomington Police Department, where investigators interviewed here before her release.
Qualters says the Detective Division will continue to investigate the incident and, because an officer was involved in the shooting, an administrative internal investigation will take place.
Residents in some parts of Bloomington were asked to stay inside with their doors locked and a number of businesses were on lockdown because of a gunman in the area who had a hostage.
It all started around 2 o’clock when police responded to a report of a hostage situation in the area of South Rogers and Rockport near John’s Food Mart and gas station. Police say an armed person was on foot and holding a gun to a hostage’s head.
Sweet Grass General Manager Ryan Andrews stood outside and watched as police barricaded the area near his restaurant.
“So far we tried to walk down there, and we got about 150 yards away and the officer came at us and told us to turn around and walk in the other direction so we followed his commands,” said Andrews.
More than a dozen police cars, including a SWAT van, were on the scene along with Mayor Mark Kruzan who was helping direct traffic.
An ambulance took one person to Bloomington Hospital. Reports are that person was the hostage.
A police spokesperson says a member of the Critical Incident Response Team shot and killed the gunman. That person’s name has not been released.
Reports are shots were fired in the area. Police aren’t confirming who was shot or the degree of the person’s injuries.
Bloomington police say a hostage situation in the area of South Rogers Street is now under control but several streets remain closed. A person was armed with a gun walking through the area of Rogers and Rockport. A number of police cars are on the scene as is Mayor Mark Kruzan.
The Bloomington Police Department is currently working an incident in the area of Rogers Street and Rockport Road. A person is on foot armed with a gun. If you are within a five-block radius of Rogers and Rockport, the Police Department advises you to lock your doors and windows and stay inside until further notice. The area is near John’s Food Mart and gas station at 2002 South Rogers. They also advise not to drive in the area, as the area around from W Patterson Drive to Country Club Lane on Rogers Street is currently closed.
WFIU’s Claire Murphy contributed to this report.