DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — The Decatur Police Department averted a potential tragedy after a man threatened to hurt his family and himself with a gun early Sunday morning.
Authorities received information that Jerad E. Thornell, 39, had a handgun and was heading to a home in the area of E. Redlich Drive and South 35th Street to kill his wife and 13-year-old stepdaughter. Once officers arrived at the address just after 6 a.m., they found Thornell’s vehicle and heard arguing from inside the home. Officers immediately surrounded the area.
As a result, Thornell exited the home with the wife and stepdaughter. Officers were able to get the woman and girl to safety, but Thornell got into another vehicle on the property and threatened to hurt himself with the gun.
Decatur PD’s Emergency Response Team responded and negotiated with Thornell. After several hours, he was successfully taken into custody unhurt. Due to Thornell’s threats to hurt himself and others, police followed standard procedure to hospitalize him. After a medical evaluation, he was booked into the Macon County Jail.
Thornell was charged with Armed Violence, Home Invasion, and Aggravated Unlawful Restraint. The Decatur Police Department is thankful no one was injured, and they extend appreciation to family members of Thornell who assisted them in de-escalation. They also thank the public for their patience while Redlich Drive was blocked off, and praise their staff for their handling of the situation.