Ind. police respond to hostage situation
Police say there were fewer than 10 people in the building when officers received a call reporting a man with a gun
By Tom Coyne
VALPARAISO, Ind. — Police say a gunman still has at least one hostage inside an Indiana real estate office but the majority of those who were inside the building when the gunman arrived are out.
Valparaiso Police Sgt. Michael Grennes says there were fewer than 10 people in the building when officers received a call Friday morning reporting a man with a gun inside the Prudential Executive Group Real Estate office.
He says the majority of those people have left the building, but isn't saying exactly how many hostages still are inside.
He says officers exchanged shots with the gunman when they arrived but has no reports of anyone being shot.
Grennes says one person was struck in the head during the incident but was treated and released at a hospital.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
A gunman looking for someone he believes owes him money took an unknown number of hostages inside an Indiana real estate office Friday, police said, prompting officers to shut down nearby streets and surround the building with guns drawn.
Valparaiso Police Sgt. Michael Grennes said police received a 911 call about 10 a.m. reporting that a man with a gun had entered the Prudential Executive Group Real Estate office. Grennes said there was a "brief exchange of gunfire" when officers arrived, but said he did not have any information about whether anyone had been injured.
Grennes said some people were able to leave the building, which is about 40 miles southeast of Chicago, but an unknown number of employees remained inside Friday afternoon.
He said he had "no idea" whether those who left were released by the gunman or got out on their own.
Negotiators are in contact with the gunman, but Grennes would not say if he has made any demands. Grennes said did not believe the gunman was an employee of the real estate agency.
"The gunman believed someone inside there owed him money," Grennes said. He does not know the details of the transaction.
Mack Elliott, an agent at the brokerage, told The Associated Press he was not in the office when the gunman entered, but had spoken to a couple of agents who were working at the time. He believed the incident stemmed from a dispute over a real estate transaction.
Copyright 2012 Associated Press