Gunman in Standoff With Police After Rockford Hotel Shooting; US Marshals Task Force Officer Shot: Police

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2019-03-07 14:25:42

A U.S. Marshals task force officer was shot while trying to serve an arrest warrant at a Rockford hotel Thursday morning and the suspect is believed to have fled more than 100 miles south, authorities said. 

Illinois State Police said officers pursued a suspect, believed to be the gunman, before his vehicle crashed in a rural area off Interstate 55 in Logan County. The driver remained in the vehicle as state police and SWAT officers responded at the scene, authorities said. 

As of 1 p.m., the suspect was not in custody but negotiation efforts were underway, authorities said. 

Northbound and southbound lanes of I-55 near Lincoln were shut down until further notice, ISP said. Route 60 was also temporarily shut down in the area and Amtrak’s Lincoln Train 303, which travels between Chicago and St. Louis, was stopped south of Blomoington-Normal due to police activity.  

The incident began at the Extended Stay hotel off North Bell School Road, where authorities initially said officers were investigating an “active shooter” situation.

Rockford police said members of the Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Apprehension Task Force were attempting to serve an arrest warrant around 9:15 a.m. when they were fired on. Police said shots were fired inside the hotel and in the parking lot after the suspect is belived to have fled out of a third-floor window. A McHenry County Sheriff’s deputy working on the taskforce was hit by gunfire in the parking lot and was listed in critical condition. 

A woman described by police as a female aquaintance was also shot “inside the hotel,” police said. The gunshot was not believed to be from law enforcement and the wound did not appear to be life-threatening, according to authorities. 

Police said the suspect, armed with a rifle, fled the room and remained at large as of 10:50 a.m. Thursday.

Residents were advised to avoid the area near the hotel. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and numerous other departments also responded to the scene.

Rockford police identified the suspect as 39-year-old Floyd E. Brown, of central Illinois. His suspected vehicle is a light blue or silver Mercury Grand Marquis with a license plate of BF13112 or a temporary plate of 4850256. 

Police spokesman Andre Brass warned that Brown, who had no known ties to Rockford, is considered “armed and dangerous” and urged residents not to approach if he is seen but to call 911. 

Brown, who police said was wanted on warrants out of several Illinois counties, was identified as a burglary suspect in December in Bloomington, Illinois. Police said Brown fled from police and eluded officers. A reward of up to $1,000 was being offered for information leading to his arrest at the time.

He was wanted on warrants out of Sangamon County, McLean County and Champaign County, authorities said. The Illinois Department of Corrections also put out a parol violation warrant for Brown. An additional warrant was issued after Thursday’s shooting on charges of attempted first-degree murder with a $5 million bond. 

“We just want to end this incident peacefully with his surrender,” Brass said.

Extended Stay said it was “working with proper authorities to ensure the safety of our guests and employees.”

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the officer and his family,” the hotel said in a statement. 

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he was “closely monitoring the active shooter incident in Rockford and urge members of the community to follow the instructions of local law enforcement. My immediate thoughts and prayers are with the officer shot, his family, first responders & residents affected by this situation.” 

Sen. Dick Durbin also said he was tracking updates and thanked law enforcement “who are responding to the emergency.” 

Check back for more on this developing story. 

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