Prosecutors: Man fired 14 rounds during bogus “hostage situation” downtown

Edward Cook (inset) and a SWAT officer outside the building where he allegedly holed up. | CPD; @RyFromChi

A Chicago man fired 10 rounds through the wall of a short-term rental apartment during a SWAT stand-off Thursday that began when he falsely told friends in a video chat that armed men were holding him at gunpoint, according to prosecutors.

Edward Cook, 33, is charged with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, aggravated discharge of a firearm, and filing a false report. A total of 14 rounds were allegedly fired during the incident.

Two of Cook’s friends raced to an apartment building on the 1400 block of South Wabash after he told them he was being held hostage via Facebook Messenger around 10:30 a.m., Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said.

Upon arrival, the friends flagged down police to report that up to six armed men were holding Cook hostage on the sixth floor. Patrol officers subsequently called in a SWAT team.

The SWAT officers heard gunfire inside Cook’s unit at least twice while they stood outside in the hallway, Murphy said.

Around 12:30 p.m., Cook opened his door and surrendered. Police found a 9-millimeter handgun on the living room floor and ten gunshots that flew into a neighboring unit, striking the shower, toilet, mirror, and hallway, according to Murphy. Cook allegedly fired a total of 14 rounds during the incident and he does not have a license to possess a firearm in Illinois. No one was injured.

Cops did not find anyone else in the apartment. Cook’s friends said they did not see anyone else on his video messages, either. And no one escaped the building while SWAT had it locked down, Murphy said.

Emily Bock, Cook’s public defender, said the case is a matter of self-defense.

Judge Charles Beach set bail at $250,000. Cook will need to post a $25,000 deposit bond and go onto electronic monitoring if he wants to get out of jail before trial, Beach said.

Murphy said Cook had been living in the apartment for about three weeks after it was rented by a third party.

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