A 21 hour hostage situation in Harvey ended this morning with two suspects in custody and all eight hostages are okay and recovering.
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart described key tactical decisions made by his Hostage Barricade Terrorist Unit and state police negotiators as negotiations hit a tense stalemate this morning.
“We went through the tactics that we are trained in to increase some of the pressure on them,” Dart said. “We assured them that no one was going to hurt them and tried everything conceivable to get them to understand that we weren’t going away and this was going to be resolved.”
Ongoing communications with the suspects and intelligence gathering told police precisely where everyone was when the decision was made to go in just before 9:30 this morning.
“We pushed in the door,” Dart said. “We knew everyone was on the second floor because we were talking to them.”
Investigators say the suspects fired two shots at sheriff’s police as they quickly took control of the would be robbers, who invaded the home at 14732 Seely Avenue yesterday afternoon. The suspects wounded a pair of Harvey police officers who rushed to the scene. The remaining hostages, two adult women and two young girls were set free after four of the children were released in the overnight hours.
“There will be people who will sit there and say we should have entered quicker, if something bad had happened,” Dart said. “And it was just that there were enough dynamics in place at that point in time because things were not moving.”