Man With Shotgun Causes Lockdown on Schools

Lockdown lifted with no one injured after about 40 minutes

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images / Scott Olson
    Three Lake County schools were locked down Friday due to reports of a gun-wielding suspect.

    A man armed with a rifle was talked out of shooting himself Friday morning during a situation that led to the lockdown of some north suburban schools.

    Lake County Sheriff’s police responded to the 17000 block of West Roberts Court in unincorporated Gurnee shortly after 10 a.m. There, they said a 28-year-old man was threatening to kill himself.

    The man’s mother, who went to a neighbor’s home to call 911, told police her son had a history of mental illness, a release from the sheriff’s office said.

    While on the phone with 911 dispatchers, she reported hearing a gunshot.

    Arriving deputies found the man in the driveway of the home, holding a bolt-action rifle.

    The subdivision, which is across the street from Warren Township High School’s Almond campus and two schools in the Special Education District of Lake County, was closed by authorities.

    Sgt. Timothy Jonites, one of the first on scene, began negotiations with the man, who threatened to shoot himself several times during the standoff, placing the weapon to his chin and in his mouth. He also made a request for deputies to take his life, according to the release.

    After about 40 minutes, the man put the gun down and was taken to Vista West Hospital in Waukegan.

    "This appears to have begun as what is known as an attempted 'suicide by cop'," Sheriff Mark Curran said in a statement. "However, our officers were able to talk the subject down and out of his fateful mode."

    The school lockdown lasted from 10:35 a.m. until about 11:05 a.m., according to District Supt. Joyce Swoboda.

    It was the final day of school for students in District 50. There were students in Grade 1-3 at Woodlawn Elementary East and West, as well as students in the before and after-school, and daycare programs.

    Students in the intermediate and middle school had gone home for the day and primary students did not have classes, she said.

    The lockdown was done as a precautionary measure, Swoboda said.

    "At no time were any students in any danger," she said.