Original article no longer available
Friday, May 25, 1990
Author: RANDY GLEASON
Bloomington, IL – Jeffrey Salzman was suicidal and may have been hoping to be killed when he was shot and seriously wounded by a police officer during an armed standoff earlier this month.
Salzman, 35, of 710 E. Buchanan St., Bloomington, had been despondent because his former wife was trying to prevent him from seeing their 6-year-old daughter, according to a source close to the family whom The Pantagraph chose not to identify.
At the time of the shooting, the source said, Salzman was on medication for depression and had a blood-alcohol content of .21, more than twice the legal limit.
“Between being suicidal and on medication and alcohol, he just stepped out of bounds,” the source said. “He left his sister’s house driving around looking for a place to use the gun on himself.
“It’s not beyond the realm of possibility that he wanted someone else to pull the trigger.”
Salzman had been under psychiatric care since December, when he attempted suicide, the source said. On the day of the standoff with police, he left a note at the home of his sister, Julie Prochnow, saying he loved her and thanking her for everything.
Salzman remains in fair condition at Brokaw Hospital, recovering from the gunshot wound. The shooting took place at the south parking lot of G.B. Oil Service, 908 N. Main St. Salzman is being guarded by police until he is well enough to be released to the McLean County Jail.
According to police, officer Daniel Hoeniges shot Salzman once in the stomach with a .357-caliber revolver after Salzman aimed his loaded shotgun and took a step toward the officer. Hoeniges and about 10 other officers in five squad cars had cornered Salzman at the gas station after authorities received a report he was riding around town with a loaded gun.
Salzman faces a charge of attempted murder and three counts of aggravated unlawful restraint from the incident.
Assistant State’s Attorney John Campbell said he could not comment on the facts or evidence in the case or on Salzman’s state of mind at the time of the shooting.
According to court records, two of Salzman’s ex-wives are attempting to terminate visitation rights to his two children.
It apparently came to a head April 13, when Salzman’s third wife filed a petition to prevent her ex-husband from seeing their 6-year-old daughter.
That petition came on the heels of an earlier hearing when his fourth wife sought to keep Salzman away from their 5-year-old son because of alleged abuse.
Because of that, the third wife claimed that her ex-husband also was a threat to their daughter.
Salzman’s live-in girlfriend later said the challenge to Salzman’s visitation rights caused him to be seriously depressed, leading to a confrontation with police April 16. Salzman was charged with aggravated battery in connection with the incident.
On April 23, a judge ordered a court hearing to mediate the third wife’s petition to end Salzman’s visitation rights. That case was pending when the May 11 shooting took place.
But in a conversation with The Pantagraph earlier this week, she said she understood that her ex-husband would not challenge her request to stop visitation and that this was to be entered in court June 8.
However, both ex-wives said until the court proceedings are complete, they were unable to comment further on the shooting or the events leading up to it.
Salzman and his third wife had been married for about four years when they were divorced in 1984. On December 17, 1984, the mother was granted custody of the couple’s daughter. But Salzman was allowed to see her on alternate weekends, two Wednesdays a month and on some holidays.
Salzman married his fourth wife on October 26, 1984. She filed for divorce on March 27, 1987, claiming that her husband had physically abused their son, as well as her then-6-year-old son from another marriage. The divorce was granted on Sept. 30, 1987, and Salzman was given visitation rights.
Record Number: 0F219E949018EF56
Copyright (c) 1990, 2002 Pantagraph Publishing Co.