10 hour Rantoul hostage standoff ends in suicide

By Daily Illini Staff Report

According to the Champaign County Sheriff’s website, a standoff in Rantoul “ended via suicide” at 1:00 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Police had been searching for Jacob K. Morrissey since Sunday when he allegedly shot his way into a home on Chateau Drive in St. Joseph around 1:30 a.m. and fired a 12-gauge shotgun at the residents, according to a press release by the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO). The residents of the house knew Morrissey and identified him to the police.

An adult male who was struck is being treated at an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries to the face, shoulder and neck, according to a CCSO synopsis published by The News Gazette.

On Monday, police reported that they had recovered Morrissey’s stolen 1994 tan Buick LeSabre in the Mahomet area. According to the synopsis, he abandoned his car, which contained shotgun ammunition, in a cornfield and proceeded to steal a car that had been left running unattended in front of the Village Pantry.

Morrissey then traveled to Lake of the Woods Apartments and held two people hostage with his shotgun for an over hour in an unoccupied apartment undergoing renovation. According to the synopsis, Morrissey told the hostages that, “He meant to kill the subject he shot in St. Joseph and also … that he didn’t want to go back to prison.”

Morrissey freed the hostages after stealing a green Ford truck from one of the hostages.

Around 11:45 a.m. Monday, Morrissey was located inside a home located at the southwest corner of Clark and Maplewood Streets, according to the synopsis. The Champaign County METRO SWAT team then entered into negotiations with Morrissey, who was barricaded in the attic of the home, in an attempt to convince him to surrender.

Throughout the negotiations, Morrissey reportedly made several suicide threats and stated that he did not want to go back to prison, despite pleas from his family members and a friend to turn himself in to the police.

At approximately 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, the SWAT team introduced “non-lethal chemical agents” into the attic and entered the home, according to the synopsis.

Morrissey was found dead due to an apparent self-inflicted gun shot wound to the head.

Pat Wade, UIPD spokesman, said the last time a felon was on campus was during the spring 2015 semester when a fugitive from Indiana was found and arrested by campus police in the Undergraduate Library.

“The campus is pretty public and open, people pass by the area all the time,” Wade said. “But we’re really good at watching our property and area and making sure everything is safe.”

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