Shooting Suspect Takes Hostages in Bank

ARCOLA, Ill. -- Two men were in custody Friday awaiting charges stemming from a wild crime spree in which authorities say they fled from a police stop, robbed a house, stole a vehicle, shot a sheriff's deputy, and one took hostages at a bank.

The deputy was hospitalized in critical condition. The five hostages were later released unharmed.

The spree began during a midmorning traffic stop Thursday when the suspects sped off after a drug-sniffing dog was brought in to search their car, State Police Sgt. Bill Emery said.

The two robbed a house a few miles from there, ditched their own car and stole a van, he said.

When Chief Deputy Tommy Martin pulled the van over shortly afterward, he was shot in the face and torso, Emery said. Martin was able to radio for help, and authorities chased the van at speeds of over 100 mph, with the suspects firing on them, before the driver lost control of the van as it careered over railroad tracks, and the suspects abandoned it, Emery said.

One suspect was taken into custody. The other fled into the bank.

He holed up there with five hostages, releasing four of them over seven hours. After speaking with an FBI hostage negotiator, the suspect peacefully left the bank with the remaining hostage, Emery said.

"They both agreed he would come out and surrender," he said. "We told him what door to go out and he went out the door and the hostage with him."

Authorities declined to identify the hostages. But Bill Pullen, 69, told Chicago's WLS-TV that he and his grandson Brad Pullen, the bank's 27-year-old manager, were among them. He said their captor "was only threatening" initially.

"His main thing was that nobody is going to get hurt, which you have a tendency not to believe in that situation," he said.

Both suspects were being held at Douglas County Jail. Authorities said they did not know which one shot the deputy.

Sheriff Charlie McGrew said Martin, a 59-year-old father of two, had one of two planned surgeries and it went "very well." The deputy was listed in critical condition Friday morning at the Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, said hospital spokeswoman Allison McLaughlin.

Arcola, about 150 miles south of Chicago, is home to an Old Order Amish settlement. The rural area has several Amish homes, business and schools, and horse-drawn buggies are a frequent sight.


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