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Crime & Courts

State police report on Delnor shooting details nurse's terror

Police negotiated until Salters started shooting

GENEVA – Tywon Salters was desperate not to return to prison, a Kane County corrections sergeant warned in an email to the midnight shift.

The Kane County Jail detainee had been charged March 11, 2017, with two counts of felony possession of a stolen car. Because he already had been paroled on charges of armed robbery and possession of a stolen car in 2012, he likely was facing a long prison term.

Salters was recovering from surgery in Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital in Geneva when he disarmed a jail guard and took a nurse hostage and raped her before police shot and killed him May 13, 2017.

According to a summary of the investigative report from the Illinois State Police Public Integrity Task Force, Salters disarmed the guard and then headed into a nurse’s office on the hospital’s third floor.

“[The nurse] described the man, later identified as Tywon Salters, as being completely unclothed with the exception of some white wrapping around his torso. Salters locked the door behind him and demanded [that she] take off her clothes. [She] said Salters was pointing the gun at her the entire time.”

The 16-page summary of the report, which was more than 1,000 pages in length, detailed the afternoon’s incidents, including the nurse being taken hostage, police efforts to negotiate her release, and the shooting death of Salters. The summary was obtained by the Kane County Chronicle through a Freedom of Information Act request and is highlighted here.

Shawn Loomis, the corrections officer who was disarmed, called 911 at 12:59 p.m. to report that Salters was headed toward the elevator with a Glock 21 that held 12 to 16 rounds, the report stated.

In the nurse’s office, Salters took the nurse’s pink hospital scrubs pants and put them on, as well as her sneakers. He grabbed a white medical coat that was hanging in her office and put that on, too, the report stated.

A second nurse came to the office and Salters took her to the employee elevator, so they could use her badge as access to travel to the first floor, the report stated.

Nearly the entire time the nurse was with Salters, he had her in a headlock, holding her head with his left arm while he pointed a gun to her right temple, the report stated.

‘Please get him the car’

Because Salters’ hands were occupied, he had the nurse use her phone to call several of his family members.

“Several of the calls were on FaceTime and the person on the other end could see her and him and they could see Salters was holding a gun to her head,” the report stated. “The people Salters called pleaded with him to let her go, but he refused … and he kept saying he was not going back to prison.”

Salters and the nurse were held up in a hospital decontamination room, and officers could hear Salters speaking to family members on the phone.

“I’m not going back to jail, not spending my life in jail, not spending another 20, 30 years in jail,” Salters said. “Tell everybody I love you. … Now I’m going to kill myself.”

Salters told police negotiators that he needed a car, and they told him they were working on it.

Salters told police, “If you shoot, I’ll blow her brains out.”

Salters sexually assaulted the nurse in the decontamination room, the report stated, but he ordered her – at gunpoint – to tell police that she was OK, the report stated.

The police negotiator replied by saying something to the effect of, “You don’t sound like you are OK.”

While police were situated outside the ambulance bay, “Salters was screaming, yelling obscenities at [police]. Nurse … was begging and screaming for help,” the report stated.

The exact time that passes in these incidents is unclear from the summary of the report, but as the negotiations dragged on regarding Salters’ demand for a car, the nurse hostage yelled at police as well, saying, “Get him the [expletive] car. He has a [expletive] gun to my head. Please get him the car,” according to the report.

Police told Salters they got him a gray SUV, but he did not respond.

Taking action

The nurse’s demeanor “went from subdued to screaming and crying, begging to get out of there and begging police to do whatever he says,” the report stated. Police slid a key into the door of the decontamination room, covering up the sound by talking to Salters through the door.

At nearly 4 p.m., as police prepared to go into the room, Salters suddenly fired the gun, the report stated.

“Within seconds, police officers came through the door. … Salters had his left arm wrapped across the hostage’s chest and was pulling her toward him, using her as a shield. [Salters] was raising his gun up, pointing it [at police.]”

A SWAT team officer fired three rounds at Salters, killing him and causing a grazing wound to the nurse’s upper arm.

An autopsy on Salters stated the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head.

The Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office relied on the state police report to determine that the SWAT officer’s shooting of Salters was justified and there would be no charges against him.

The nurse who was held hostage is among four nurses and two of their husbands who filed a federal lawsuit against Kane County, Loomis and Delnor’s security company, alleging negligence, among other issues. The case is still pending.

NOTE: Other portions of the report are still pending review before release by the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office. Those portions deemed too invasive of privacy will be redacted (removed from the public releases) which is allowed under the Freedom of Information Act.

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