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Man shoots Ill. deputy in face, takes hostages in bank

By David Mercer
The Associated Press
Related Story: 2 held in Ill. deputy shooting, standoff

ARCOLA, Ill. Authorities surrounded a bank in this tiny Illinois farm community Thursday after a suspect in the shooting of a sheriff's deputy holed up inside with two hostages. Three other hostages were released earlier.

Sgt. Bill Emery speaks to the press about the suspect who shot a deputy in the face, and took hostages in Arcola, Ill.
The situation developed after Douglas County authorities responded to an armed robbery at a rural home where the two suspects were reported to have stolen the residents' van, said Illinois State Police Sgt. Bill Emery.

"We have had contact with the (suspect) in the bank. At this time I'm unsure of what he wants," Emery said. "Our plan is to talk to the subject. We want this to be as peaceful as possible."

Chief Deputy Tommy Martin was shot in the face and the torso as he attempted to stop the fleeing van.

Illinois State Police then pursued the fleeing van, engaging in a pursuit that reached speeds of more than 100 mph, Emery said. When the driver lost control of the van, the suspects abandoned it.

One fled into the First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust, where the hostage situation developed. The suspect released three hostages, but remained inside the bank with two others in the afternoon.

The other suspect was taken into custody, Emery said.

Martin was reported in stable but critical condition, Emery said.

CBS affiliate WCIA talked to the suspect inside the bank. The man said he took the gun from a friend and went into the bank for shelter. He told the station he doesn't want to hurt anyone and is looking for a peaceful end to the situation.

Workers at hardware store across from the bank locked their doors and took cover when the standoff began around 10:45 a.m., bookkeeper Debra McGrew said.

She said State Police and the sheriff's vehicles were parked all around the bank.

"They're just trying to get the situation contained," she said. "They're trying to take care of it the best they can."

Arcola, about 150 miles south of Chicago, has about 2,600 residents. It is home to an Old Order Amish settlement and horse-drawn buggies are a common sight.

"These things happen in big cities, not a little town like Arcola," said McGrew. "You don't think it will happen in your town."

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