Peoria barricade situation ends, no suspects found

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PEORIA -- Police spent the morning on the scene of what appeared to be a barricade situation at 71st Avenue and Corrine Drive in Peoria.

Officers closed 71st Avenue between Cactus Road and Sweetwater Avenue for several hours Tuesday morning.

According to Mike Tellef of the Peoria Police Department, the call first came in for a burglary in progress at about 4:30 a.m.

When officers arrived on the scene, they discovered the home's back door had been forced open.

Officers made their way inside and found a man who had been tied up on the first floor. Despite a language barrier, that man told the officers that other people -- possibly between five and 10 -- had forced their way in and were upstairs.

"As far as we know, nobody has gotten out of the house," Tellef said. "We're not exactly certain how many of that five to 10 might have been residents as compare to bad guys."

Based on what the man told them, officers on the scene believed at least some of those people who were supposedly upstairs were armed.

Peoria's Special Assignments Team -- crisis negotiators and SWAT -- were called to the scene. Aerial video showed officers surrounding the home. They spent quite some time trying to contact the people inside the home in an effort find out exactly what was going on.

Tellef said weapons were found in the home, but it's not clear if they belong to the homeowners or the suspects.

"We're going on the assumption that there are people upstairs, there may be hostages involved," Tellef said. "There's a good chance there are [hostages]. That's the way we're dealing with it. We're going to take our time."

3TV viewers living in the area said they received a call from authorities telling them to stay inside their homes. Tellef said some nearby homes were evacuated as a precaution.

"We've gotten everybody out of the area," he said.

Officers on the scene also pulled back a bit.

"With it being a two-story house, they [the suspects] have some pretty good lines of vision," Tellef explained. "We had to pull back so we couldn't be seen."

Shortly before 9:30 a.m., some five hours after the initial call, police said they had completed their search of the house, including the two attics, and found no suspects.

"Somewhere between when this whole incident started and our officers got on scene, apparently the suspects were able to get out," Tellef said.

An adult woman and a 12-year-old boy who live in the house were found.

Police will be talking to the residents as they try to determine just what happened.

No shots were fired in the course of the morning and no injuries reported.

While SWAT was at the home, Oakwood Elementary School, which is located near the scene, was placed on a modified lockdown. Parents were allowed to drop off their kids, but the students were being kept inside rather than being allowed out on the playground.