Archive for the ‘hostage’ Category

March 18, 2007

Modesto, California

From Sacramento’s of March 17, 2007

Man Killed in Modesto Gas Station Fight

A machete-wielding man was shot and killed after getting into a fight with a group of men and taking a hostage at a Modesto gas station early Saturday, Modesto police officials said.

Richard Perez, 43, was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after the 1 a.m. Saturday shooting at the Valero gas station, 325 Maze Boulevard, Modesto police spokesman Ivan Valencia said.

Witnesses said Perez got into an altercation with up to eight men who drove up to the gas station in two cars. Valencia said Perez took one of the men hostage, holding the machete to the man’s throat. One of the man’s friends pulled a handgun and allegedly pleaded with Perez to let the man go, Valencia said. After a pair of warning shots, witnesses said the gunman shot Perez several times, allowing the hostage to escape unhurt. Both carloads of men then fled the scene.

Investigators interviewed several witnesses to the confrontation and under the circumstances, the shooting may have been justified, Modesto police detective Dodge Hendee said. Valencia said detectives were looking for the men confronted by Perez, identified as seven or eight black males from 18 to 25 years old.


January 6, 2007

North Las Vegas, Nevada

From the January 6, 2007 Las Vegas Review-Journal:

A convenience store manager shot and killed a robbery suspect and injured another Friday after the men entered his North Las Vegas store and took the manager and several customers hostage.

The two suspects held up the American Mini Market at 2564 Las Vegas Blvd. North on Friday afternoon, North Las Vegas police said. Then, the robbery suspects bound the store manager and several customers using zip ties and tried to rob them, police said.

The manager, whose name was not released, escaped from the ties and retrieved a gun stashed inside the store. Shortly after 2 p.m., the manager exchanged “a bunch” of shots with the suspects, North Las Vegas police spokesman Tim Bedwell said.

Both of the suspects were hit with gunfire.

One of suspects stumbled out of the store and died in the parking lot, Bedwell said. The other, whose name also was not released, was hit in the lower extremities and fled on foot, leaving a trail of blood, he said.

The suspect was caught by police and taken to University Medical Center, where he was treated for injuries that were not life-threatening, Bedwell said. Police said the man could be charged with robbery and murder once he recovers from his wounds. Under Nevada law, a suspect in a felony crime in which a person dies can be charged with murder even if their actions didn’t directly cause the death.

No one else was injured in the shooting.

“This is how we like these incidents to end up,” Bedwell said.

The customers called the manager a hero.

“He saved us all,” said 27-year-old Kevin Aden, who was in the store when the suspects came in.

Aden said that he and the other people in the store were tied up for about 10 to 15 minutes in the back room as the suspects robbed them and the store.

October 5, 2006

Midland, South Dakota

From the October 5, 2006 Pierre, South Dakota Capital Journal:

MIDLAND – An August shooting in the rural community of Midland was ruled a justifiable homicide by a Haakon County Grand Jury Wednesday, meaning Dallas McKinley Sr. will not be charged with the death of a Rapid City man.

A justifiable homicide is defined as a situation in which a person is defending himself or other persons, inevitably causing the death of another.

The grand jury heard the testimony of 11 witnesses over a period of

several hours and declined to return an indictment, according to the Haakon County State’s Attorney’s office.

According to a press release from Haakon County State’s Attorney Chip Kemnitz, the evidence showed that Harold Lee Cleveland, the 64-year-old man who died, announced that he was going to Midland, intended to commit suicide and that others would die too.

Cleveland apparently entered the Midland home of C.E. and Arlene McKinley on Aug. 12, and “made it clear his intention was to kill them.”

The press release stated that Cleveland held the elderly couple hostage at gunpoint for approximately one hour, during which the woman was secretly able to phone her son, Dallas McKinley, who then called 911.

“An adept Pennington County dispatcher confirmed the 911 call by a call to the couple’s residence and successfully kept a conversation going through the ordeal by carefully instructing the 86-year-old woman to disguise her responses with yes or no answers and to interject mundane comments, pretending an innocuous conversation with the telephone company or a friend,” the release said.

Local law enforcement and South Dakota Highway Patrol units were dispatched to the home, but Cleveland abruptly left the residence before officers had reached their assigned positions, at which time, Dallas McKinley Sr. entered the home from a back entrance and moved his parents to safety.

According to Kemnitz’s office, “The victim was then observed to re-enter the residence, again before officers were in a position to stop him, whereupon an armed confrontation between the victim and the couple’s son occurred, which resulted in the victim’s death.”

An anonymous source connected to the victim told the Capital Journal, immediately after the incident occurred, that Cleveland may have gone to the McKinley home for revenge over an investment dispute dating back to the 1980s.

The release from Kemnitz’s office confirmed that the only apparent motive for the victim’s actions appears to be a financial loss suffered by the victim 15 to 20 years ago in a fraudulent investment transaction managed by another of the victim’s sons, not involved in the incident.

December 6, 2005

Auburn, Alabama

From the Montgomery Advertiser of December 6, 2005

Al Benn’s Alabama: Hatfield used Magnum force to protect store

Two men thought they had developed the “perfect crime.” It might have worked if Jerry Hatfield hadn’t messed it up for them.

What they got was a hail of bullets from a man who wasn’t going to let them steal his possessions or harm five people they held hostage.

At least 17 bullet holes were left in and around Hatfield’s electronics store on Dec. 3, 1999. Others weren’t found by police.

It began when one of the men entered the store at closing time. He pulled out a wad of bills and then said he needed to go outside to get a “friend” who knew about electronics.

As soon as the two returned, they pulled out weapons, took three employees hostage and then herded them into a back room where they bound them with tape and rope.

A few minutes later, two more people were hostages. One was an employee’s wife who had arrived to pick him up from work.

The men then drove a rental truck through a rear entrance where they began filling it with car stereos and other expensive electronic equipment. They realized it was too heavy for them, so they untied one of the hostages and ordered him to help.

Hatfield, who had been staying in a living area above the large store, heard the noise below, but thought his employees were doing some late-night work.

When he peered through a one-way mirror, Hatfield quickly sized up the situation. He grabbed his guns and walked onto a balcony overlooking the crime scene.

One of the two spotted him and said ‘Come on down, sir,'” Hatfield recalled.

“He had a gun in his hand,” he said. “I remember thinking to myself that I wasn’t a hero, but I wasn’t about to go down those steps, either.”

That’s when the bullets began flying. The man at the bottom of the stairs fired first. His shot missed Hatfield, but penetrated a doorknob at the top of the stairs.

“The floor exploded beneath me as bullets ripped through it,” Hatfield said. “I then traded my assault rifle for a long barrel .44 Magnum.”

Those who have seen the “Dirty Harry” movies know that’s the weapon carried by actor Clint Eastwood. It can put a big hole in walls — and people.

As the firing continued, Hatfield managed to call Selma police. A dispatcher could hear the gunfire in the background.

Then, one of the hostages was released and ordered to climb the stairs. He was told to get Hatfield out of his hiding place. The hostage pleaded with Hatfield not to fire through the door.

“He told me ‘Please do not kill me. They are making me kick your door in,'” Hatfield said. “It was the most harrowing moment during the entire ordeal.”

Hatfield didn’t fire through the door or unlock it. Instead, he reloaded his pistols and rifles and waited for what he thought would be his last stand.

“My office was riddled with bullet holes everywhere I looked,” he said last week during an interview. “Sometimes I got splinters in my mouth and eyes from the shattered wood. I guess the good Lord just wasn’t ready for me that day.”

To his amazement, every shot missed him. He almost got one of the robbers as he emerged from his office and fired his .44-caliber Magnum down the steps.

The round went through the man’s thick sweatshirt and missed him, but created a booming noise inside the building.

By that time, the two had enough. They ran outside the store where one was captured by police. The other was caught in Birmingham a few days later.

Robert Howard Jr. and Edward Leon Turner are serving long prison sentences for their not-so-perfect crime.

Should Hatfield have just waited for police to arrive? He doesn’t ask himself that question because he believes he did the right thing.

“I’m convinced they would have killed the hostages had I not been there,” he said.

One day after the incident, a friend visited Hatfield and they talked about how dangerous it is to run a business with valuable merchandise.

A few days later, his friend and a female employee were shot to death in their pawn shop in nearby Orrville.

They never had a chance. The gunman, who is on death row, opened fire on them the moment he entered their store.

June 21, 2005

Grand Rapids, Michigan

From Grand Rapids‘ of June 21, 2005

Burglar shot and killed by hostage; two other intruders arrested

Grand Rapids Police have arrested two men in connection with a robbery in which a third intruder was shot and killed.

Twenty-three-year-old Ian Johnson was shot and killed by a resident of the Charles Avenue home that had been tied up. The resident broke free around 3 a.m., got a gun away from one of the suspects and shot him.

Around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday, police arrested one of the other suspects who police say broke into the home with Johnson near the corner of Bridge and Monroe in downtown Grand Rapids. The third intruder was arrested later Tuesday.

Police say the suspects broke into the house in the overnight hours, searching for drugs and money, when they then took two men hostage. They bound and gagged the men by using duct tape and some wire.

Elma Robinson, who was on her way to the bus stop at the time, says she saw one of the victims describing to police what had happened.
“He said he shot two of them when he got his hands loose,” she said.

Police say one of the victims was pistol-whipped during the ordeal. “One had a head wound. He was transported to the hospital,” said Capt. Jeffrey Hertell of the Grand Rapids Police Department.

February 13, 2005

Johnson County, Illinois

From the Carbondale Southern Illinoisan of February 11, 2005


A stormy relationship between two Williamson County teenagers ended in bloodshed Thursday, when a member of the girl’s family shot and killed the young man, whom they said had been holding them hostage at gunpoint.

Jeffrey Scott Price, 19, of Marion, died at Saint Louis University Hospital Thursday morning after being shot in the head during the alleged home invasion.

Price went to the house, located on Deer Trail Road in the Lake of Egypt area, looking for his 17-year-old ex-girlfriend, said Sherry James, the girl’s mother. The occupants of the house are James’ parents, the girl’s grandparents, both in their 70s.

James said her parents told her Price entered their home without them knowing, wearing a ski mask and hooded sweatshirt. He awakened James’ mother with a gun in her face, demanding to know where his ex-girlfriend, the woman’s granddaughter, was.

Price ordered the couple into the living room, James said, and demanded they find a way to get his ex-girlfriend to come over without arousing suspicion. During the course of about an hour, James said, her mother was able to placate him to the point where he put away the gun. She excused herself to go to the bathroom, and so did her husband.

The couple went to separate bathrooms, but James said her father went to the bedroom to retrieve a .45 caliber handgun he purchased 14 months ago. He had never unwrapped it or taken off the tags, she said.

The man loaded the gun and returned to the living room. Somehow, James said, her mother was able to get Price’s gun and throw it off the deck of the house. When her husband came back into the room, he pointed the gun at Price and told him he could either sit down or leave. James said Price told her parents he wouldn’t leave without his ex-girlfriend.

James said her father told her mother to call the police with a cell phone, because Price had disabled the land line. As she went to do so, Price produced another gun. James said her father shot Price in the back of the head.