URBANA, Ill. (WAND) - A man was arrested after deputies said he held a woman hostage at gunpoint, fired shots at them, and held a 3-hour long stand-off with officers.
On Sunday just before 11 p.m., Champaign County Sheriff’s deputies conducted a traffic stop in the 1800 block of North Cunningham Avenue in Urbana for a violation of the Illinois Vehicle Code.
During the traffic stop, a K9 alerted on the vehicle. At that time, deputies said the vehicle fled the traffic stop North on Cunningham Avenue and East on I-74.
Shots were fired at deputies as they attempted to follow the vehicle East on I-74.
Shots were fired from the passenger side of the vehicle.
The first group of shots was fired on I-74 between Cunningham Avenue and University Avenue. The second and third groups of shots were fired on I-74 between University Avenue and St. Joseph. It is believed a total of eight shots were fired at deputies.
During the incident, a 911 call came in. A female driver said a male passenger, 34-year-old John Bennett from Potomac, was threatening to shoot her if she stopped the vehicle. Bennett also threatened to kill others as well as himself.
The vehicle continued East on I-74 going between 60 and 70 mph until it exited and turned North on Illinois Route 49 in Vermilion County.
The Vermilion County Sheriff’s Office and Illinois State Police joined deputies at this point.
At about 11:30 p.m., the vehicle became disabled and came to a stop at approximately 500 E 2500N in Vermilion County.
The female driver jumped out of the vehicle, but Bennett refused to exit.
Deputies on scene spoke with Bennett for about three hours trying to get him to exit the vehicle.
At about 2:35 a.m., deputies saw Bennett removing a bullet from the chamber of a rifle and throw the gun out of the vehicle.
He then obeyed commands to exit the vehicle and was taken into custody.
Deputies recovered the AR-15 rifle, the single rifle round cleared from the chamber by Bennett, and a rifle magazine with 21 rifle rounds.
Once in custody, Bennett was taken to Carle Foundation Hospital for a mental evaluation before being transported to the Champaign County Jail.
Bennett was arrested for Attempted Murder, Unlawful Possession/Use of a Weapon by a Felon and Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon.
No one was hit by the gunfire.