Homicide, kidnapping suspect remains in critical condition

By WEEK Producer

November 6, 2013 Updated Nov 6, 2013 at 8:02 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- A man who shot himself in the chest after a nine hour standoff with police remains in critical condition at a Peoria hospital.

Phouvone Sophanavong, 45, is a suspect in the kidnapping and murder of his estranged wife, 28-year-old Laongdao Phangthong.

Witnesses said Phangthong was forced into her car by Sophanavong early Monday morning outside her workplace in Pekin.

Her body was found late Tuesday morning inside the same car parked in a parking deck at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria.

An autopsy is pending but the Peoria County Coroner said Phangthong suffered at least one gunshot wound.

After the body was found, a police standoff ensued at Sophanavong's home on Monroe Street, just blocks from the hospital.

After about nine hours, it ended late Tuesday night after Sophanavong shot himself in the chest.

Peoria Police Captain Mike Eddlemon said more than 100 officers were involved in the incident.

Capt. Eddlemon considers the end result a success because ultimately Sophanavong was contained, and no officers or other citizens were hurt.

"The situation was out of control when we were notified. This started the day before in Pekin. It's our job to arrive at a scene and restore order and that's what the officers did," said Eddlemon.

Sophanavong is in Pekin Police custody. An officer is stationed at his hospital room.

He is under arrest for violating an order of protection and kidnapping, although more charges are expected.

A homicide investigation is ongoing.

"We are still investigating the location in which the homicide took place. Just because the deceased female was found in Peoria does not mean that it happened in Peoria," said Detective Mike Eeton of the Pekin Police Department.

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