"I figured he'd be long gone:" Union Grove residents say manhunt for armed & dangerous man had them on edge

UNION GROVE (WITI) -- A nearly 24-hour manhunt resulted in 20-year-old Stan Sillas being taken into custody Monday afternoon, March 23rd -- but not before schools were closed for the day as an entire community was on edge. FOX6 News learned Monday evening that Sillas died at the hospital after suffering a self-inflicted gunshot wound as law enforcement officials closed in on him.

Stan Sillas

Officers went door-to-door on Monday -- looking for a man they warned residents was likely armed and dangerous. Schools were closed for the day as law enforcement officials worked to apprehend Sillas.

"We`re here in a safe, peaceful neighborhood and there are people walking around with machine guns right now. We got an update (Monday) morning, indicating they hadn't been found yet and to continue to be cautious and keep your eyes out. I figured he'd be long gone," Jim Farmer of Union Grove said.

Farmer says the 24 hours from Sunday afternoon to Monday afternoon were anything but peaceful in Union Grove.

"We were getting updates from the sheriff that there was a fugitive and stay in your homes," Farmer said.

Racine County Sheriff's investigators, working with Racine police and K9 units, along with Mount Pleasant police officers tracked Sillas to the 5300 block of Taylor Avenue in Mount Pleasant. Law enforcement officials got a tip from a concerned citizen and that's what led them to the area.

"Arriving officers located fresh footwear impression in the snow. The footprints led investigators to the suspect's location. Upon observing officers, the subject threatened to shoot himself with a handgun he had in his possession. Officers on scene immediately attempted crisis is intervention measures," Racine Police Lt. Al Days said.

Officials say Sillas was hiding in some bushes. They say the crisis intervention measures failed, and Sillas shot himself. Sillas was taken to Wheaton Franciscan Hospital, and then transferred to Froedtert Hospital. He died Monday evening at the hospital.

Earlier Monday, officials were going door-to-door in Union Grove in their search for Sillas. Police said the 20-year-old man has a criminal history-- and should be considered armed and dangerous.

The manhunt began Sunday. Investigators say Sillas abducted a woman at gunpoint on Sunday afternoon at the Racine Neurological Center near Waterford. Police got a description of the car Sillas was driving, and soon after, it was reported in the parking lot of the Union Grove Piggly Wiggly store.

Sillas was approached by Racine County Sheriff’s deputies and allegedly opened fire. At least two shots were fired — one into a parked squad car with a deputy inside. That deputy returned fire, but it’s unclear whether Sillas was hit.

Sillas left the woman at the Piggly Wiggly store and ran away. Then, a massive manhunt for Sillas began.

The following schools were closed as law enforcement officials launched a door-to-door search for Sillas:

    One of Jim Farmer's children attends school at Union Grove High School. He says all of the precautions taken on Monday eased his mind -- especially as a father.

    "It reinforces a lot of things we try to teach them growing up -- to keep your eyes out, even in a very safe area like this. I've been here for many years and I've never experienced anything like this," Farmer said.

    Because this incident was concerning for many who live in and around Union Grove, the Women's Resource Center is offering its services to folks who may be feeling uneasy following this manhunt.

    Trauma advocates will be available on Monday night, March 23rd from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. in the conference room at Martin Chrysler Dodge Jeep, located at 1422 Main Street in Union Grove.

    Anyone who would like to talk or debrief about the events that have occurred in Union Grove over the last 24 hours is welcome to come.

    There will also be advocates available at the Racine Public Library, 75 7th Street in Racine on Wednesday, March 25 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

    For more information, call the Women’s Resource Center at (262) 633-3233.