07/20/2005

Jacksonville Beach shooting suspect surrenders after 8-hour siege

The Associated Press

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla.- A man fired shots into a van filled with children, critically wounding the female driver and a teenage passenger, then broke into an apartment and held two people hostage before surrendering early Wednesday, police said.

Paul Christian Rentas-Rivera, 29, of Orlando, faced multiple charges for the eight-hour standoff but none had been filed by midmorning, police spokesman Michael Zdunkiewicz said.

Rentas-Rivera began shooting Tuesday evening when the woman started to drive away after an argument, police said.

The woman fled to a nearby diner, where employees called police.

Officers pursued Rentas-Rivera to an apartment building about five blocks away, where he broke into a second-floor apartment. Two people in the apartment were initially held hostage but later released unharmed, Zdunkiewicz said.

Rentas-Rivera made no demands, except to ask for cigarettes, Zdunkiewicz said. After negotiations failed to end the standoff, five tear gas canisters were fired into the apartment at about 3:45 a.m.

The woman and a 13-year-old girl, whose identities were not released, remained in critical condition Wednesday, Zdunkiewicz said. Three other children, an 8-year-old boy and two girls ages 4 and 11, were treated for minor injuries, officials said.

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