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Tulsa Police Sniper Kills Man Who Took Toddler Hostage

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A hostage situation in Tulsa, Oklahoma ended with a single shot that left the perpetrator dead and his lone hostage unscathed.

Late on Oct. 18, a 44-year-old man broke into his estranged wife's home and took her 2-year-old daughter hostage. 

The woman was able to escape with her three other children and her boyfriend, according to local station KFOR. 

The suspect then took the toddler out onto the balcony of the house wielding a gun, which he pointed at the girl and at the officers responding to the scene. The man "spoke very little English," police spokesman Leland Ashley told the Tulsa World.  

"A patrol officer initially tried to speak to the individual to get him to come out and release the child," Ashley told KJHR. "Ultimately, he did not. We notified our Special Operations team, who came out and assisted."

A Spanish-speaking officer negotiated with him for several hours. Ashley said "He had showed all indications that he had the potential to hurt this child... We didn't know at what point this individual might have caused harm to the child, or to himself."

Shortly after 3 AM, a sniper with the police department's special operations team shot and killed the suspect. 

"The officer," Ashley told Tulsa World, "fearing for the child's safety, was able to take a shot and killed the suspect."

The child was returned to her mother, uninjured.

Detectives remained at the scene until later in the morning to investigate the shooting. The sniper has been placed on administrative leave. 

The suspect was not the father of the 2-year-old hostage, but he was the father of the three other children who escaped the house with their mother, reports KJRH.

The investigation is ongoing.

Residents were shocked that a situation like this could happen in their neighborhood. "Obviously it was really surprising and disappointing that you feel like that wouldn’t happen here especially in this neighborhood," said Destiny Paolercio.

“I think it’s tragic," said Rhonda Meshew. "I can’t say anything else, I mean that’s just terrible I can’t even imagine going through something like that... It's devastating when something like that happens. I hope for the best, and I pray for them.”

Sources: KFOR, Tulsa World, KJRH (2 via Yahoo News) / Photo Credit: KFOR

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