Hostage Situation in Valparaiso

By Matthew Stefanski

Editor-in-Chief

UPDATED: 6:45PM Friday, May 25, 2012

At approximately 3:30pm, Valparaiso Police Sgt. Mike Grennes reported that the final hostage was released from the Prudential real estate building in Valparaiso. Since 10:00am, a disgruntled man had been holding multiple people hostage inside the building. At different points throughout the day, the unharmed hostages were released.

Around 5:00pm, two loud bangs were heard from inside the building. Valparaiso Police Chief Michael Brickner reported that the gunman shot himself in the head two times and was transported to Porter Hospital in critical condition.

Multiple news agencies are reporting that the man showed up at the office yesterday, asking for money he believed someone at the office owed to him. When he came to the office today, one of the workers called police. Shortly after the police arrived, shots were exchanged and hostages were taken.

Valparaiso Police reported a gunman took hostages at the Prudential Real Estate office at approximately 10:00am. PHOTO COURTESY OF WLS-TV ABC 7 CHICAGO

At approximately 11:00am, Friday, the Valparaiso Police Department notified Victory Christian Academy (VCA) of a hostage situation at the Prudential Real Estate Building located at the five-way intersection of Vale Park Rd, Calumet Ave, and Roosevelt Rd.

Valpo Police recommended that all area schools go on lock down until the situation was secure. Administrators agreed and put the school on modified lockdown. As a result, the freshman class was unable to go on their previously planned picnic. Access to leave and enter the building was restricted. Student drivers were required to call parents to ask for their permission to drive home.

The Times of Northwest Indiana is reporting that multiple law enforcement agencies: the Valparaiso Police Department, Porter County Sheriff, Chesterton Police, Indiana State Police, and the FBI are all on the scene.

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