Lower than 4 years after capturing, Fifth Third faces hostage state of affairs

Lower than 4 years after a deadly capturing at Fifth Third Bancorp’s headquarters in Cincinnati, an armed man entered one of many financial institution’s branches in suburban Chicago on Tuesday and took hostages.

The incident in Romeoville, Illinois, presents one other reminder to the banking business concerning the seemingly random bodily threats that financial institution staff and clients would possibly someday face.

The suspect, who was shot by a SWAT crew member and was later pronounced lifeless at a close-by hospital, had earlier advised hostages that he was not there to rob the financial institution. Authorities have but to determine the suspect.

The incident Tuesday at a Fifth Third department in Romeoville, Illinois, got here lower than 4 years after a gunman killed three folks on the firm’s headquarters in Cincinnati.


Two of the hostages later told a local ABC affiliate that the person was in the course of a mental-health disaster.

“He stored on telling us, ‘I am not right here to harm you. I am not right here to harm nobody. I am not right here for the cash. I am right here as a result of I’m uninterested in like — I’m uninterested in life,’ ” one of many hostages stated.

Whereas members of a SWAT crew had been touring to the scene and Romeoville law enforcement officials had been stationed exterior the Fifth Third department, the suspect launched the hostages however remained inside, in response to a report from the Will County Sheriff’s Workplace. The hostages advised police that the suspect had discharged his firearm a number of occasions contained in the financial institution, in response to the Sheriff’s Workplace report. 

After the SWAT crew arrived, the suspect started to exit the department, the Sheriff’s workplace stated, including {that a} SWAT crew member fired one spherical, placing the suspect.

“We’re grateful that each one who had been held by the assailant are protected,” a Fifth Third spokesperson stated in an electronic mail. “Extra updates might be supplied by regulation enforcement when accessible.”

In September 2018, a gunman opened hearth in and across the department in Fifth Third’s headquarters, killing three folks and critically injuring three others. The gunman additionally died in a gunfight with police within the constructing’s foyer.

After that 2018 capturing, the $211 billion-asset financial institution stated it was analyzing its active-shooter protocols and in search of methods to enhance. 

Carol Dodgen, whose agency Dodgen Safety Consulting presents safety companies to the banking business, stated Thursday that banks and their staff are more and more dealing with conditions that decision for coaching past what’s usually taught for robberies.

“These conditions are usually not going away,” Dodgen stated. “In conditions like this, it turns into clear we have to transcend the normal coaching.”

There have been 40 active-shooter conditions in 2020, in response to FBI information, up from 30 the yr earlier than and double the quantity in 2016. Twenty-four of the shootings occurred in areas of commerce. 

Dodgen stated that the message to financial institution staff in theft coaching is to conform, however incidents just like the one which unfolded in suburban Chicago are sophisticated with out realizing the suspect’s motive.

Newer coaching applications embody instruction to financial institution staff about being conscious of their environment with the purpose of eradicating themselves from hazard if doable, Dodgen stated. 

She speculated that the hostages might have helped safe their very own launch by exhibiting empathy to a suspect in misery, saying that de-escalation coaching has worth.

“Theft coaching will not be going to go away, however I do suppose it’s altering,” Dodgen stated. “If it will be helpful for workers, it might probably’t be simply one thing that checks a field.”

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