Man in custody after bringing gun to Elgin workplace, police say

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Worker in custody after bringing weapon to Elgin workplace.
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A man is in custody after allegedly bringing a gun to his workplace in Elgin, police say.

ELGIN, Ill. (WLS) -- A man is in custody after he allegedly brought a handgun to his workplace in Elgin, officials said.

"My understanding is the employee had a bad day, came in, was disgruntled," said Bob Trueblood, executive director of the Fox River Reclamation District. "Family members were trying to calm him down and we were trying to get him to go home."

The employee, the water plant's lead operator, refused to go home.

Trueblood says the 25-year employee has a stellar record. This morning, however, he says the operator was supposed to start work at 7 a.m., but didn't show up until after 8 a.m. According to officials, he started work at his operator's station for the waste water plant in Elgin, went across the street to the reclamation district administration building, and then returned to the operator's station.

Police say employees knew he was upset and called 911, saying he had a gun and may be tampering with the water system.

"Our officers located the individual with a weapon, they tried to negotiate with him and have him drop the weapon," said Elgin police commander Dan O'Shea. "He refused to surrender and an officer deployed a less lethal ammunition round, which incapacitated the individual."

"He's a stellar employee, never been disciplined," said Trueblood. "He's been promoted. He was the lead operator for the facility, very well-liked and very well-respected, just a good guy all around."

Some equipment at the water plant was turned off, but it is unclear if that was done by a computer system or by tampering, police say. Either way, the water plant says that the public was never under threat, nor was the water supply in jeopardy because it is a waste water plant and its backup systems kicked in.

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