Child Rescued, Mother Shot As Tex. Standoff Ends


VALLEY VIEW, Texas (AP) -- A 5-year-old girl was rescued and her mother was shot by North Texas law officers Wednesday after an 18-hour standoff stemming from the child's abduction from a day-care center.

Authorities threw gas canisters into the mobile home at about 2:30 p.m. after they heard shots fired inside the residence, Denton police spokesman Jim Bryan told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for a story in its online edition Wednesday.

Deputies pulled the girl, Sierra Dawn Sasiain, from a window in the mobile home and drove her away in a patrol car. She appeared to be uninjured, Bryan said.

Cooke County Sheriff Mike Compton said the mother, Crystal Dawn Pinkston, fired at officers, who shot back and critically injured her. She was taken by helicopter to a Fort Worth hospital, Compton said. A Harris Methodist Hospital spokeswoman said she did not have information about Pinkston's condition Wednesday afternoon.

Sierra was taken at gunpoint from the Southmont Baptist Church day-care center in Denton just after 3 p.m. Tuesday, when Pinkston threatened to shoot a man who was escorting the children to the church from a nearby elementary school, Bryan said.

The girl's grandparents in Denton have custody of her, police said.

On Tuesday night, the vehicle Pinkston had been driving was spotted near the mobile home in Valley View, 35 miles north of Denton and about 50 miles north of Dallas.

Officers started negotiation attempts with Pinkston over a bullhorn about 9 p.m. but had no luck. About 9 a.m. Wednesday authorities shut off the power and continued to try to contact her, the Star-Telegram reported.

Pinkston, 30, faces kidnapping and aggravated assault charges, Bryan said. She has been convicted of various misdemeanors in Denton County, including two 25-day sentences in September for criminal mischief and criminal trespass.

Mike Sasiain, Sierra's uncle, said in television interviews that Sierra had been through a lot but has a good father.

"She's a very great, sharp, bright kid," he said. "She knows not to go with her mom, and unfortunately she was taken."

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