VA Hospital Gunman Questioned in Parents' Murders

"He was a 50-year-old mama's boy"

By Andrew Greiner
|  Wednesday, Sep 23, 2009  |  Updated 9:17 PM CDT
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BROLL: A gunman takes hostages at a VA hospital in Chicago.

BROLL: A gunman takes hostages at a VA hospital in Chicago.

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Gunman Takes Hostages at VA Hospital

A gunman who allegedly admits killing his own parents walks into a VA hospital, fires a shot and takes hostages.
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Chicago cops talked out the gunman who barricaded himself in Jesse Brown VA hospital Wednesday  morning.  The gunman is now being questioned in the slaying of his parents.

At around 1:30 a.m., the man walked into lobby of the Jesse Brown Veterans Administration Medical Center and fired one round into the ceiling, police news affairs Officer Hector Alfaro said. No one was hurt.

The man then barricaded himself in a room in the emergency room area, where he remained until cops talked him out.

After about seven hours of negotiation, the gunman decided it was in his best interest to surrender, said Deputy Chief Wayne Gulliford.

Alfaro said no one else was injured and the rest of the hospital was not evacuated.  Even during the standoff, the hospital continued to operate as normally as it could.

"Clinics are still open.  If patients can get in, we're going to keep seeing them today," one doctor told NBC Chicago.

During the standoff, someone inside the hospital overheard the gunman say he'd just killed his parents.  Police then connected the gunman to the murders of an elderly couple in the 2200 block of South Kildare Avenue.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office identified the victims as Joe Washington, 79, and his wife, Johnnie, 77, the Tribune reported.

“My brother is not a monster,” said Mansa Kenyatta, 55, the older brother of the man in police custody. “He was a 50-year-old mama’s boy. We're just trying to figure it out.”

Kenyatta is the eldest of three children of the Washingtons.

The Washingtons' neighbors said the couple was well liked, as was their son, who often worked as a handyman around the area.

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