This morning around 2:00, the telephone rang. There was no message when it went to the answering machine. We were thinking how inconsiderate someone was to call at that hour. I finally got up after hitting the snooze a couple times, which was around 5:00.
I was working at my desk when Rick came wondering out at 7:00. He mentioned something about 4 shots being fired somewhere in the neighborhood and mentioned a street. It wasn’t a street in this neighborhood. I just passed it off and didn’t think anymore about it. Then the phone rang. I checked the number and saw the same one from around 2:00 this morning. What the heck? It was only 7:00. I let it go to the answering machine, but no one left a message. I was pretty sure it was some sort of dialing machine that was off its clock.
Rick and I had breakfast. Then he came back out and said that there was a shooting in Holiday Hills. I was stunned. The neighborhood isn’t that bad, but you never know. I went on the Internet and saw a story about the shooting of two McHenry County sheriff officers in Holiday Hills. WHAT?!?!?!
The story said that they had a phone call asking the sheriff to check on a woman and her daughter at this house. When they arrived, a guy shot at them from the door. Luckily, the officers weren’t fatally shot. Both went to the hospital. However, a standoff started. While it was still dark, the mother and daughter got out of the house. Then they lost track of the guy. Somehow, he got out of the house. The only place open to him was the lake. From there, they locked down around that house, our neighborhood, and the neighborhood on the other side of the lake.
Now to clear up some information. This was not in Holiday Hills proper. There is a small subdivision that is separate from this village called Vaupell. They don’t consider themselves a part of our village and even have a wrought iron fence between the two villages to prove that idea. So actually, the shooting took place in an unincorporated part of McHenry county.
Rick was worried that he couldn’t get out to go to school. He decided to try and see. They let him out and he went to class this morning. Unfortunately, they will let you out, but you can’t come back. So Rick is outside of the neighborhood. He went to lunch and waited to see if things cleared up.
At 1:00, it was still locked down. He decided to go to his friend’s house and see if anyone was home. Luckily, the lady of the house was there and gladly took him in. At 2:00, we talked by phone and agreed that he would stay the night there if things did clear up. A big thanks to the Gregory family. By the way, his friend is away at school in Utah.
Rich is home sick today. Yesterday, he was coming down with a really bad cold or sinus infection. By 3:00, I went by his desk and found him in agony. He just refuses to quit though. I went to a meeting and then tried to drag him home early. He spent most of today in bed. The sleep will help.
We started watching the Internet for news updates. Around 11:00, we got another phone call from the McHenry County Emergency Call line. This is the number that has been calling and not leaving messages. Voice on the answering machine said that the suspect was at large. A search was underway by officers. We were told to stay inside with our doors and windows locked.
A little while after that, I looked out the kitchen windows to see a couple of officers with guns drawn looking around the yard. There was a police dog as well. I waved and walked out to see if they needed in the garage or to look anywhere. I got the keys and they went into the detached garage. He assured me that things were good, but to stay inside. No problem.
About noon, a plane began making a search pattern over the neighborhood. It was soon joined by a helicopter. This continues until well after 3:00. They went back and forth over the entire area and then returned to search it again and again. At times, the helicopter was so low that it rattled the windows.
The neighbor across the street came out to leave. He talked to the group of officers standing in the street at Hickory and Oak outside of our house. They were keeping watch for anyone or anything moving. I could see that they told him to stay home, but he seemed to insist on leaving. The one officer nodded. I assume he left for work. It’ll be seen as to whether he can come back soon.
Sascha has been restricted and she’s not happy about that. I’ve let her out, but then make her return as soon as she is done with the current business at hand (or is that foot since it is an equivalent). She went out after the police officers and their dog had left. She had her hackles up over the scent of the other dog. She continues to sniff the area and try to determine who was here. As I said, she’s not happy with the current situation.
At 3:00, I feed Sascha and she wanted out right away. I was out in the yard waiting for her to complete all necessary tasks. I thought about the fence line and started over that way. Hold on here, I didn’t need to walk over and check this out by myself. About that time, Rich came out on the deck. I had him wait there while I checked. There is a space between what’s left of an old fence on our property and the new fence the neighbors had put up. Luckily, there was no one there.
I should have known something was wrong when I went to get the paper this morning and couldn’t find one on the driveway. I checked a couple of times before Rick gave me the news about the shooting. That would explain no paper. At that point, they were already restricting access to the neighborhood. Rick confirmed that they were not letting the school bus come into the neighborhood. A few kids managed to get to River Road and got on the bus. We received another phone message about 1:30 telling us that children at school needed to be picked up by a parent since no bus service would be running down to the restricted area. Problem is: If you went out after your children, you could not come back. Where would you go?
I fed Sascha and took her out around 3:00. I realized at that time we wouldn’t be having any mail service either. Wow, this was even going to stop the government. One guy with a stupid idea shutting down my entire day!
We had haircut appointments for 4:30 today. I told Rick he could go, but I was calling to cancel Rich and I going out. With Rich feeling bad and the need to stay with Sascha, I didn’t want to risk going out and not getting back in. I called and canceled. I feel a little trapped.
With the planes going overheard, police vehicles circling the neighborhood, and the eerie kind of feel around here, it’s a little unnerving. I’ve been trying to work, but I keep looking out of the windows. The noise of constant air traffic is getting to me. I image this is what it is like on a good day in a war area. I gave up all pretense of trying to work.
However, I could still write. Now it was just going to be this blog and what was going on. I checked the Internet again to see what progress there was and if there an all clear yet. I assume the phone will ring and a message will be dictated into the answering machine when it is clear.
One of the neighbors across the street had just returned. Maybe they were letting people returning from work back into the neighborhood. I texted Rick to let him know and tried to call, but it goes to voicemail. Just one more thing to worry about. I’d rather he were home with me. After December, that will be different.
The helicopter started up again. Earlier, Rick said it was parked in the McDonald’s parking lot when he went by. I bet they took over quite a few places. I watched a video by the sheriff’s department on the situation. There were standing at Sunset Dr. coming into the village. I saw the houses up there as they were searching with the dogs. I noticed in the story with the video that the suspect is a former Green Beret. This just gets better and better.
Now the helicopter is stationary out just north of the house. I wonder what that means. Rich got up because it sounded strange of the thing to be hanging in the air like that. We watch out of the kitchen window and it just continues to hover. It’s too much for my nerves and I return to my computer. I’m trying to call and text Rick to see if he can try and return. It just goes to voicemail and no answer to my texts.
Finally! I realized that the cell tower might have been busy. I was getting a channel assigned to my call. I reach Rick and he is getting ready to drive home and see if he can get in. With a couple of the neighbors returning, there is a good chance he can get in. He had his phone on airplane mode since he was running out of battery.
It is 4:30 and Rick made it home. They checked his ID and then let him in. I’m so glad to have my son back! Well, the helicopters continue, but I’m done. I’ll try to ignore them. Maybe movie night down in the basement and at the bar will help.