Employee held hostage during police standoff at Dollar Tree shares her story

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An hours long standoff at a Rockford Dollar Tree store ended with a suspect behind bars. 

Stanley Turner faces several charges including armed robbery and aggravated restraint and battery. 

One of the two employees in the store at the time details how, what should have been, the end to a normal shift became a night that she won’t forget.

“I saw his face for a split second.  I remember the gun, I remember his face, I remember his clothing, everything.” said Dollar Tree assistant manager Christina Tobler.

Christina Tobler recalls the terrifying night 36 year old Stanley Turner allegedly entered the store just before close, armed with a gun intending to rob Dollar Tree.

“He pulled a gun out of his right front pocket and pointed it and said get on the floor.” said Tobler.

Tobler and her coworker spent around 15 minutes in the store with Turner as he gathered thousands in cash.  Both employees spent the time in the store office, at gunpoint with Turner, before he walked to another portion of the building, allowing police officers at the door with guns drawn to guide both employees out of the building. 

Outside of the Dollar Tree, police surrounded the entrances, an armored vehicle parked in front, while officers strategized how to deal with the armed man inside.

“Each situation is unique and the tactics and actions that we take are always with the concerns of the safety of citizens, the safety of the officers, and the safety of the suspect.” Lieutenant of investigations Kurt Whisenand said.  “When they arrived, they found two female employees who were able to exit the business and indicated that there was an armed suspect still inside.”

After almost 4 hours trying to contact Turner without success, police decided to make a move to take him into custody by releasing a K-9 Unit, who located the suspect hiding in the store. 

Police were able to apprehend Turner because they arrived on scene while the suspect was still in the building.  They credit their quick response time, and employees their lives to  the good Samaritan who called 9-1-1.

“That person saved us cause we were just puzzled, like how.” Tobler said.  “How did you guys, how did you know, because we didn’t call nobody.  We’re like how did you know?  They were like, somebody saw something and called.”

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