05/11/2013

NJ cops: Gunman in daylong standoff has hostages

Since Friday afternoon the suspect has been holed up in a two-story building with an unknown number of hostages

By Rema Rahman
Associated Press

TRENTON, N.J. — A standoff with an armed man who police said took multiple hostages entered its second day Saturday as authorities worked to negotiate his surrender and his captives' safe release.

The man, whose identity has not been released, remained holed up in a two-story red brick house in South Trenton more than 22 hours after the standoff began Friday afternoon, authorities said. Trenton police Lt. Stephen Varn declined to give any details on the number of people being held, their ages or relationship to the armed man.

State police Lt. Stephen Jones called the standoff an "ongoing, tense situation" and said police were working to "bring this to a peaceful end."

Police were called to the home before 3 p.m. Friday on reports that a man had barricaded himself inside.

Authorities said police entered the home and found the man brandishing a gun. Police retreated safely, and a SWAT team was called in. Police continued to negotiate with the man Saturday morning, Varn said, and police had a robot on scene ready to enter the home.

State Police Sgt. Adam Grossman said an arson bomb unit was also on the scene. Police declined to say whether the man was making any demands.

Homes on the surrounding block have been evacuated as a precaution, and police tape cordoned off the street in front of the house and nearby. An ambulance was parked near the home.

Lt. Mark Kieffer told The Times of Trenton that police had not been called to the home before.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press

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