Officers fatally shot an armed jail inmate and freed his hostage at hospital in northern Illinois on Saturday, several hours after the inmate stole a gun from the correction’s officer guarding him, authorities said.

A SWAT team quickly moved in to Delnor Hospital in Geneva, about 65 kilometres west of Chicago, after negotiations broke down with the inmate Saturday afternoon, said Patrick Gengler, spokesman for the Kane County Sheriff’s Office.

Gengler said one officer shot and killed the inmate. He identified him as Tywon Salters, 21. 

The female hostage was “extremely emotional and upset” following the shooting, but appeared to be physically OK, said Gengler. She was quickly taken to another room in the hospital. 

The standoff began around 12:30 p.m., when the inmate snatched a gun from a correctional officer who was watching him at the hospital.

Salters, who was being held on charges related to a stolen vehicle, had been in the Kane County Jail’s custody since April 11, and in the hospital since Monday, Gengler said.

Gengler said he couldn’t release details about why Salter was hospitalized, citing federal privacy laws. 

Standoff contained to ER

The standoff had been contained to one section of the emergency room as of late afternoon, when SWAT and crisis negotiation teams were called to the scene.

Gengler said the hospital’s emergency room was quickly cleared, but patients elsewhere in the hospital weren’t evacuated. The hospital went on lockdown, with no one was allowed on to the hospital’s campus.

“We were able to move patients out of the ER. Those that needed medical care were transferred to other hospitals,” said hospital spokesperson Kimberly Waterman.
   The hospital asked people to avoid coming to the area and to not come to visit patients, though ambulances were on standby for anyone who arrived at the hospital in need urgent care, city spokesman Kevin Stahr said.