Man who allegedly fired 14 rounds during fake South Loop hostage situation gets 6 years

A man who allegedly fired 14 rounds while staging a fake hostage situation in his South Loop apartment that sparked a SWAT standoff in 2020 has been sentenced to six years in prison.

Edward Cook, 35, pleaded guilty to unlawful use of a weapon with a prior conviction and reckless discharge of a firearm that endangers others, according to court records. Prosecutors agreed to drop four other felonies.

Judge Michael McHale sentenced Cook to six years on each charge to be served concurrently. Cook will receive credit for 401 days he spent in jail before pleading. Officials have not published his anticipated parole date.

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

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. on September 10, 2020, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said during a bail hearing the next day.

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. 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.

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

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