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Northbrook Standoff Ends When Man Found Dead In Home

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Northbrook police SWAT team officers respond to an apparent standoff with a gunman in the 2400 block of Partridge Lane on Dec. 28, 2011. (Credit: CBS)

Northbrook police SWAT team officers respond to an apparent standoff with a gunman in the 2400 block of Partridge Lane on Dec. 28, 2011. (Credit: CBS)

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Updated 12/28/11 – 9:30 p.m.

NORTHBROOK, Ill. (CBS) – A four-and-a-half hour in Northbrook came to an end Wednesday evening when police found a man dead of an apparent gunshot wound inside his home.

Richard Phelps, 65, of 2450 Partridge Lane, was found dead inside his home at the end of the standoff, officials said.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports, Northbrook Deputy Police Chief Lou Caruso said the standoff began around 2:20 p.m. when police were called about a domestic dispute at the home. A woman came out of the home when police arrived and told officers that her husband was inside and there were guns in the house.

“She thought she heard – as she was exiting the home – a gunshot,” Caruso said.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports

Police took no chances and surrounded the house, evacuating neighboring homes and telling other residents in the area to stay away from their windows.

As CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports, scores of heavily armed police officers from Northbrook and other suburbs were swarming all over the neighborhood throughout the afternoon.

Police set up a command center at the United Methodist Church near Western Avenue and Cherry Lane during the standoff, and several streets in that area are blocked off.

Police were unable to establish contact with the man inside the home, although they tried to communicate with bullhorns.

SWAT team members entered the home shortly before 7 p.m. and found Phelps dead from an apparent gunshot wound.

“We made numerous attempts to make contact with the individual in the home in a variety of ways. All of those attempts were unsuccessful,” Caruso said. “At one point, then, we made a decision to go into the home.”

Neighbor Lauren Schifferdecker watched much of the events unfold from her car.

“There are about, probably six or seven cars and one of the officers had a rifle out and exposed. So we knew that something was sort of up and our neighbors across the street were standing outside and a police officer approached them and asked them to go back in the house,” Schifferdecker said in a phone interview. “The neighbor asked to come over to talk to us and say, kind of what the police officer had reported and he yelled at them to go back into the house and shooed us to go back in the house as well.”

Schifferdecker said police also told area residents to stay out of sight of the house during the standoff because the man involved might have had a rifle.

Neighbor Don Owen said, “We went outside and … the policemen told us to get back inside. I said, ‘Well, my neighbor across the street, he’s outside and he wants to know what’s going on.’ He said, ‘Well, don’t you go over there, you go back inside.”

So that’s just what Owen and his wife did.

No one else was in the home during the incident and, other than Phelps, no one was shot during the standoff.

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