Laurie Dann rampage, 25 years later
BY BECKY SCHLIKERMAN Staff Reporter email@example.com May 17, 2013 9:22PM
Winnetka officials recalled the 1988 Laurie Dann shooting at Hubbard Woods School in their debate of a proposed ordinance to regulate the storage and transportation of assault weapons within the village. | Sun-Times Media Files
Updated: June 20, 2013 6:39AM
It’s been 25 years since Phil Andrew was shot by Laurie Dann.
Then a 20-year-old college student, he was taken hostage on May 20, 1988 by Dann after she went on a rampage in the North Shore, killing a boy and wounding others.
“It’s been longer since it happened than [how old I was] when it did happen,” Andrew, 45, said.
It’s a day that has impacted and influenced his life.
Andrew, who was a hostage that day, is now a crisis negotiator for the FBI.
His first born son is named after the Highland Park Hospital surgeon that saved his life all those years ago. The surgeon is also the 11-year-old boy’s godfather, Andrew said.
It wasn’t just that doctor — there were others, along with police officers and other first responders all credited with saving Andrew’s life.
“I think a lot about these guys ... the difference it has made in my life” Andrew said. “I feel a deep responsibility for paying forward the opportunity that they’ve given me.”
There is no official ceremony marking the quarter century that’s passed since Dann, 30, terrorized the community.
“It was a long day, and a day I’d just as soon forget,” said Mike Volling, who recently retired as Glencoe’s director of public safety and who helped put out the house fire Dann set during her destructive day.“I know how it tore the community apart.”
Killed was Nicholas Corwin, an 8-year-old shot at Winnetka’s Hubbard Woods School. His mother declined to comment when reached by the Sun-Times.
Wounded were five of Corwin’s classmates.
Before the shooting, Dann first handed out arsenic-laced Rice Krispies treats and juice to various people. Then she set fire to a house of former Winnetka baby-sitting clients — locking a mother and her children in the basement. They managed to escape.
Dann then drove to the school carrying three pistols in the car. After the shooting, she fled the school.
Armed with two guns, she ended up at Andrew’s home, where she took the family hostage. Dann eventually let Andrew’s parents out of the home, but she ultimately shot Andrew in the chest.
“I was able to escape, but I collapsed on the driveway,” Andrew said.
Still inside the home, Dann, who grew up in Glencoe, shot and killed herself.
It could have been so much worse, said John Fay, former Glencoe deputy chief of public safety and a paramedic who helped save two wounded girls that day.
“She could have killed hundreds of people that day,” Fay said.
Andrew said he uses his experience in his house that day as a “teachable moment” for fellow officers.
It’s a tragedy the father of four hopes can be prevented.
But recent shootings, like the rampage in Newtown, show that decades later, it hasn’t been enough.
”It is a reminder that we have a lot more work to do,” he said. “Your heart just absolutely breaks to know somebody else has to experience that.”
Contributing: Irv Leavitt