Standoff continues: Hostages still being held in suburban Chicago home

Police at scene of hostage situation in Harvey, Illinois on August 19, 2014

CBS Chicago

Last Updated Aug 20, 2014 8:30 AM EDT

HARVEY, Ill. -- Negotiators worked late into the night Tuesday and into Wednesday morning in an effort to persuade two men barricaded in a home in the southern Chicago suburb of Harvey to end their standoff with police and release the last of six children and two adults they took hostage.

Initially, Harvey police said five children and one adult were taken captive. Four boys, ages 1, 1, 2 and 11, were released after hours of talks between the suspects and hostage negotiators. However, Harvey spokesman Sean Howard says questioning by police of one of the boys who was let go revealed there were actually six children and two adults being held, meaning two children and two adults were still captives.

The four boys were taken to a hospital for observation.

Howard would not say whether the suspects know the hostages or whether the hostages are related.

Security Consultant Ross Rice told CBS Chicago he's surprised the standoff has lasted so long.

"The longer they're able to keep them negotiating, the longer they're able to keep them engaged, the better chance that they have to have a successful outcome to this," he said. "Quite frankly, I'm surprised that they're still inside the house right now, given the amount of time that's passed. It usually doesn't last this long, but the fact that they're still there and they still have an open line of communication, I think, is a positive."

Authorities say the two men took the adults and children captive after Harvey police responded to a call of a burglary in progress at a home about 12:50 p.m. Tuesday. There was an exchange of gunfire and two officers were wounded, one from the gunfire. Both officers suffered non-life threatening injuries, authorities said.

Howard said that, after the shooting, the two suspects ran into a nearby home, where they barricaded themselves.

Officers, including a SWAT team, surrounded the home and the entire block of homes was evacuated, affecting about 100 residents, Howard said. A nearby middle school was evacuated, except for staff members, who stayed in the building. That school will be closed Wednesday, as will the local high school.

One boy has a breathing problem, Howard said. The men put him on the front porch and a member of the SWAT team got him.

"There have been no bumps in the road yet," Howard said of the negotiating effort. "We hope to get this resolved peacefully."

Howard told CBS News negotiators "maintained direct communication" with the hostage takers and Howard says, "for now, we have very fluid activity."

Howard told The Associated Press authorities do not know the hostage-takers but have identified the hostages.

"Right now, we don't want to jeopardize the integrity of negotiation process," Howard said. "We want to protect those children as much as we can. The less information right now, the better."

Corey Campbell told CBS Chicago he heard the gunfire when police arrived at the scene.

"Six shots, tires screeching. ... I just heard some yelling and next thing I know, we come out and see police everywhere," he said.

Officer Darnell Keel, an 18-year veteran of the police force, was in stable condition at a hospital with a broken arm after the exchange of gunfire and would undergo surgery, Howard said. A second officer suffered a graze wound to an arm.

Twenty-six law enforcement agencies were assisting, Howard said. An armored vehicle and officers in body armor with high-powered rifles could be seen in the neighborhood. The state police SWAT team was on the scene, said Illinois State Police spokeswoman Monique Bond.