The small village of South Elgin is home to a scant 23,000 residents and had gone two decades without an officer-involved shooting until gunfire erupted outside a condo around 10 p.m. on July 3. Three police officers were wounded during a shootout and four-hour standoff on the 300 block of Woodridge Circle in South Elgin, according to The Daily Herald.
The condo owner’s son, Matthew Horne, spoke to The Elgin Courier about Frank Dripps, 52, who had moved into the condo after his wife met the owner at work. Horne described the couple as “down on their luck,” and said Dripps asked residents of the condo to take care of his wife, Paula, before he reportedly snatched a rifle and a shotgun from the rooms they rented.
“He said a bunch of weird stuff… and then went into his room and came out with the guns.”
According to WGN 9, South Elgin Police Sgt. Mike Doty said Dripps immediately fired a shotgun at officers as they responded to a call of shots fired at the condominium, and three officers were hit. Eleven different area police departments and two SWAT teams responded to the scene, and a perimeter was set up around the building while about 20 residents were evacuated from their homes around midnight, leaving the condo empty.
NBC Chicago reported that Dripps moved from the apartment to a balcony, and then barricaded himself in a stairwell, according to Doty, who said Dripps was apparently yelling vulgarities at police.
“I don’t know all the back and forth, all I know is he had tried to speak with the officers and he initially told our officers that if they came near him, he would shoot them.”
Dripps had a rifle with a scope in addition to the shotgun, and Doty said he raised the weapons to his shoulder “off and on” during the four-hour standoff before firing again at around 2:30 a.m., at which point an officer in the stairwell returned fire and shot Dripps, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
ABC News reported that the wounded officers belonged to the Kane County SWAT Team, with one officer from the Geneva Police Department, one from the Hannover Park Police Department, and the third with the Kane County Sheriff’s Office.
According to Fox News, three wounded officers were transported to Presence Saint Joseph Hospital and another officer who was involved in the shooting was taken to Advocate Sherman Hospital for observation.