SWAT sniper fatally shoots Chicago gunman holding hostage
By Annie Sweeney
Containment officers on 22-person SWAT response teams were sent in first -- their goal to secure the perimeter and contain Jackson.
HOSTAGE REMAINED CALM
With information from the Central District officers who were first on the scene, the containment officers crept closer to their target, who was on the ground in a hallway holding his hostage, an older man, in front of him like a shield. The hostage had military experience and remained calm during the standoff, a police spokeswoman said.
Officers told Jackson to drop the weapon.
"I don't believe what we had was negotiations," Gulliford said. "They were giving him direction to put the gun down, don't hurt anybody. It wasn't moving towards a resolution."
Instead, Jackson, 59, was alternating putting the gun to his head and the hostage's head. That was when one of the containment officers -- a 16-year veteran with three years' SWAT experience -- alerted his commanders he had a shot from about 25 yards away. Permission to take the shot, while not required, was granted, and the officer shot Jackson with an M4 rifle.
A 'RARE' SITUATION
"This one was rare in that it was so dynamic, and we were able to get that kind of vantage point, to get to the offender's blind side and have a clear shot at him without injuring the hostage," Gulliford said.
Supt. Phil Cline has credited the officer for saving the lives of about 25 others who were inside the Wood Phillips office.
The officers on the SWAT team, a 70-member section of special operations, have to pass firearms and physical testing to get a spot on the team. They also constantly practice with a larger array of weapons than do other officers, and they practice more often so they are confident and calm in a situation like last Friday's, Gulliford said.
Copyright 2006 Chicago Sun-Times, Inc.
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