Valparaiso Gunman Dead From Self-Inflicted Gunshots

Police said situation was not a domestic dispute. Gunman was reportedly owed money by someone inside building.

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    Courtney Cohen

    A man who barricaded himself inside a Valparaiso, Ind., office building has died after shooting himself twice in the head, authorities said.

    Roy Ferguson shot himself as authorities were storming the building at 2612 N. Calumet Ave., they said. A number of bystanders and law enforcement later cheered and offered each other handshakes and pats on the back.
    Ferguson was intially taken to the hospital and listed in critical condition but later died.

    Police: Situation Isn't a Domestic Dispute

    [CHI] Police: Situation Isn't a Domestic Dispute
    Valparaiso police Sgt. Mike Grennes updates reporters about the hostage situation at a realty office. (Published Friday, May 25, 2012)

    The man kept a number of people hostage after walking into the low-rise office building at about 10 a.m. Friday. All of the hostages were released by 4 p.m. One of them, an older woman released at about 3:30, was taken away in an ambulance.

    Valparaiso police Sgt. Michael Grennes said authorities exchanged gunfire with Ferguson when they arrived on scene. He couldn't confirm if anyone was struck or injured, but said he didn't believe that was the case.

    Sky5 Above Valparaiso Hostage Situation

    [CHI] Sky5 Above Valparaiso Hostage Situation
    Police negotiators were talking with an gunman inside a Valparaiso, Ind., realty office Friday afternoon. (Published Friday, May 25, 2012)

    Grennes said the situation is not a domestic dispute. Grennes said Ferguson was reportedly owed money by someone who had been inside.

    "We have a number of different police agencies here. ... It's going to stay secure until they can actually get in here and get the situation under control," he said.

    It's not clear how many people were inside the 21st Century Real Estate office, but a man named Mike who works at the neighboring Brown Tire store said he thinks there could have been as many as 15. 

    Police could be seen with guns drawn at the Prudential Executive Group building. Fire crews blocked the intersection of Roosevelt Avenue, Vale park Road and Calumet Avenue as a precaution.