Macomb Farm King standoff ends
Wed, 03 Feb 2010 19:20:39 GMT —
LATEST AS OF 10 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 3
A 19-year-old Tennessee, Illinois man is dead after a shooting spree at a farm supply store in Macomb Wednesday afternoon.
Police say Jonathan Labbe fired between 15 and 20 shots at Farm King.
A 9-1-1 call came in around 12:45 on Wednesday. By the time police arrived, they say Labbe fired shots at officers then went back into the store.
Wednesday evening, Macomb Police Chief Curt Barker confirmed Labbe's body was found in the housewares section of the store.
He died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
This ending came after a 5-hour standoff.
Did this man have any connection to the store? Police Chief Curt Barker answered, "Not that I know of and as our investigation goes along, we'll have to look into that."
This was the scene Wednesday afternoon along East Jackson Street, which was barricaded. Every emergency response team imaginable turned out to Farm King and kept dozens of onlookers at a distance. Police Chief Curt Barker says no one was hurt besides the shooter.
Six people were escorted out of Farm King at around 3:40 p.m. on Wednesday and taken into a nearby HyVee store. Three of whom were employees and three were customers. They had locked themselves into an office and communicated with officers with a cell phone.
Swat teams sent a robot inside the store to try to find the shooter in order to protect officers in case the gunman was still alive. The robot is how authorities ended up finding Labbe's body.
Barker said, "There were attempts to make contact with him, but those attempts were unsuccessful. We never talked to him."
Chief Barker says the shooter owned the gun rather than getting it from inside the store.
No motive has been released at this time. A news conference is scheduled for Thursday morning at 9 a.m. East Jackson Street has been reopened.
Alerts went out all over Macomb.
WIU activated its emergency alert system because of the shooting.
It passed along information via cell phones and emails.
The campus was not locked down.
The alert was part of the campus' effort to keep students and faculty safe with updated information about the incident at the store.
KHQA spoke with one student who received an alert today.
Dylan Austin said, "There really was no worry or panic. Our teacher had got it. It's on the opposite end of campus. Nobody was panicked and Western stayed open."
Spoon River College's Outreach Center in Macomb, which is near the Farm King store was on lockdown.
However, students were allowed to leave.
The Macomb School District conducted a standard perimeter lockdown - children had a normal day inside the building.
KHQA spoke with Jessica Bryan who works at the Woodrum Food Lincoln Mercury Toyota dealership just down the street from Farm King.
She's also a student at WIU.
She was in class at the time and received a text message and voicemail from WIU's Emergency Alert system.
Jessica and others can't believe something like this could happen in their small community of Macomb.
"It really devastating and shocking. It's one of those things that you can't believe it actually happened in your own town," says Bryan.
"You think Macomb is a small town. First thing, I thought was thank God this wasn't at Western because that's usually how it goes. And Farm King of all places. Makes you wonder why," says Dylan Austin.
Business was non-existent or slow at businesses surrounding Farm King. Many of which were on lockdown.
UPDATE FROM THE MACOMB POLICE DEPARTMENT: 6:45 p.m.
The name of the shooting suspect at the Macomb Farm King store has been identied as 19 year old Jonathan Labbe of Tennessee, Illinois. No motive has been figured out. Police plan to brief the media again at 9:00.
UPDATE FROM THE MACOMB POLICE DEPARTMENT: 6:45 p.m.
The standoff at the Macomb Farm King store has ended. The Macomb Police Department has confirmed to KHQA the shooter is dead of an apparent self inflicted gun shot wound. No name is being released, pending notification of family members. The body of the shooter was found by a robot police sent in looking for the suspect. KHQA has been on the scene since early afternoon, we will have a complete wrap up tonight on Your KHQA Late News at 10:00
UPDATE FROM THE MACOMB POLICE DEPARTMENT: 5:45 p.m.
Police have sent a robot into the store to try and find the shooter and see if there is anyone else in the store. Police still haven't had contact with shooter. Police tell KHQA, the rifle belonged to the shooter, he did not get it out of the Farm King store. At this time, police don't believe any other employees or customers are in the store. Next police briefing is at 6:30.
UPDATE FROM THE MACOMB POLICE DEPARTMENT: 5:01 p.m.Today at 2:15 p.m. Macomb Police Chief, Curt Barker, announced that at approximately 12:45 p.m. they received a 911 call from an employee inside the Farm King store stating there was a man with a rifle in the store. Officers from Macomb P.D. arrived at the store and were fired upon by the subject and the subject fled back into the store. Responding units from Macomb P.D., McDonough County Sheriff TMs Office, Illinois State Police, Western Illinois University Office of Public Safety, and Colchester P.D. contained the subject within the store and set up a secure perimeter. At this time there have been no injuries reported. The number of employees and customers inside the store are unknown. The public is advised to avoid U.S.136 on the East edge of Macomb and use alternate routes. All U.S. 136 traffic on the East side of Macomb is being detoured onto Bower Road and University Drive. At 3:00 p.m. Macomb Police Chief, Curt Barker, advised that no injuries have been reported. The number of employees and or customers still inside the store remains unknown at this time. At 3:30 p.m. Macomb Police Chief, Curt Barker, advised the situation remains unchanged. The next media update will be at 4:00 p.m. At 4:00 p.m. Chief Barker advised that officers have evacuated 6 people from the store. Three employees and three customers locked themselves in offices and remained hidden until evacuated. None of those evacuated reported any injuries. As the incident progresses officers will eventually clear and secure the store. The next media update will be at 4:30 p.m. At 4:30 p.m. Chief Barker advised the situation remained unchanged. Media updates will now be held once an hour with the next media update being held at 5:30 p.m. The media staging area is located in the ALDI parking lot next to the HYVEE gas station on the East edge of Macomb on U.S. Route 136. Click here to view the original press release.
UPDATE: 3:53 p.m.
KHQA's Jarod Wells reports seeing what he estimates as five people taken out of Farm King, put into what appeared to be a tactical response vehicle, and taken to the nearby HyVee store.Region 13 is part of the Illinois Homeland Security Department. They had a command post trailer at the scene.
UPDATE: 3:45 p.m.
KHQA's Rajah Maples reports that wounded people are being brought out of the Farm King store in Macomb. There is no word yet on how many there are, or how serious their injuries are.
At the latest media briefing on the scene, Macomb's chief of police said he has had no contact with the shooter.
UPDATE: 2:48 p.m.
Here's the latest we just learned from KHQA's Jarod Wells, who is on the scene.
At a media briefing just moments ago, police say a 911 call came from an employee inside Farm King at about 12:45 p.m., reporting an individual with a rifle inside the store.
After officers arrived on the scene, the suspect came out, shot at police, then went back into the store.
The weapon reportedly is a semi-automatic rifle.
Police have not confirmed the shooter's identity, but say they do have a suspect.
Officers also report they are unaware of any injuries, and they're unaware who, if anyone else, is inside the store.
Another note, traffic is backed up on US 136, and is being rerouted to University Drive.
We expect another update from Macomb Police at 3 p.m.
East University Drive and N Bower Road (both highlighted above in yellow) are still open to traffic. East Jackson Street has been closed to traffic.
UPDATE: 2:32 p.m.
Spoon River College in Macomb says the college's outreach center near the Farm King store is on Lockdown. The main campus at 208 S. Johnson St. are aware of the situation and are monitoring events as they warrant to determine if a lockdown is needed.
According to Alene Reuschel, superintendent of the Macomb School District, there is a standard perimeter lockdown - children are having a normal day inside the building - no reason for panic - photo id required if you come early - if there is a change or delay in delivery of children after school the Macomb School District will use School Reach and local media outlets.
UPDATE FROM WESTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY at 1:35 PM
Farm King Shooting Reported; East Jackson St. ClosedMACOMB, IL " A shooting incident at Farm King, 1620 E. Jackson St. in Macomb, has been reported by local police. The WIU-Macomb campus remains open.Western students, faculty and staff are asked to avoid East Jackson Street. Police are on the scene and the area has been closed to traffic. Western's Emergency Alert System (WEAS) has been activated so individuals are aware of the situation. As always, members of the campus community are asked to be aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious behavior by calling the Office of Public Safety at (309) 298-1949.More information will be posted on wiu.edu as it is available.
Details are coming into the newsroom, once they are confirmed we will provide updates throughout the day.
KHQA has confirmed that shots have been fired at the Farm King store in Macomb, IL.
Police are on the scene of the situation on the east side of Macomb.
We've been told police have weapons drawn and are focusing their efforts at the Farm King Store on 1620 East Jackson.
Police are urging bystanders to stay away and the Hy-Vee has been placed on lock down with customers and employees inside.
KHQA's Jarod Wells is on the scene. He has heard that shots are still being fired and two Farm King employees are holed up inside an office within the building.
An eyewitness tells KHQA several employees from the Farm King Store came to the Hy-Vee grocery store crying.
There are police, fire and ambulance crews on the scene and more police are arriving on the scene.
Traffic is being rerouted off of East Jackson onto Bower Road.