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Wheaton bank reopens after hostage situation

September 9, 2008 10:53:53 AM PDT
The Wheaton bank that was the scene of a hostage situation last week reopened Tuesday morning. The standoff at the Wheaton Bank and Trust lasted almost three hours last Friday. Tuesday morning, employees and customers returned for the first time since that incident.

The bank staff and other building tenants were reluctant to talk about what happened Friday. But the one question still on everybody's mind is: Why?

Tuesday morning, they returned to work at Wheaton Bank and Trust. The bank president has decided not to make any public comments about how his building was at the center of Friday's standoff.

There has been a lot of praise for the police activities that ended the standoff after several hours, with the gunman taking his own life, but no hostages being harmed.

A few customers said they are trying to offer comfort to those who work at the bank.

"I asked a woman here if she was over the trauma and she said yes, she was, but she was a little hesitant," said Barbara Graves, bank customer.

"I'm glad you're all back to work and that there wasn't any actual bank robbery," said a male customer.

Tuesday morning, Wheaton's police chief is quoted as saying his investigators still haven't figured out the missing piece of the puzzle, why 41-year-old married father of three Michael Long phoned in a fake hit-and-run, disarmed a responding officer and then took a dozen people hostage before taking his own life.

A few bank employees said Long told them he was "having a bad day." His family reportedly tells police he was being treated by a doctor for depression.

Police, as of last word, are still not saying publicly if they think they have been able to piece together any more of a motive for this hostage standoff, but everyone ABC7 talked with at the bank did want to make a point of saying that they were incredibly appreciative of the response by Wheaton police as well as the DuPage County sheriff's SWAT team.


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