Gunman keeps children hostage

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The Independent Online
A gunman was still holding two children hostage at a Texas nursery last night after a family dispute escalated into a siege drama. The man, identified as James Lipscomb, 33, had taken 63 children and five adults hostage on Wednesday after storming into the Rigsbee Child Development Centre in the Dallas suburb of Plano.

He released 60 children the same evening after negotiations with police and the last of the adults early yesterday.

Police said last night that they were optimistic about ending the siege after re- establishing talks with the man who had stopped negotiations after seeing a live television report showing a young girl he had just released being carried away to safety.

The two remaining children were believed to be Mr Lipscomb's son, Monroe, and his stepson, Xavier. His estranged wife, Kristen Shaw, worked at the day-care centre and witnesses said he had originally burst into the building to look for her.

Morgan Jones, the natural father of Xavier, cried as he waited for word of his son at the day-care centre yesterday.

Mark Dawson, a police spokesman, said last night: "Negotiations are moving in a postive direction. Things are a lot lot better."

There was no information about what might have led Mr Lipscomb to storm the nursery. Police said that he had not harmed the children and had negotiated calmly and reasonably until breaking off the talks. Food was taken into the building yesterday morning. Despite the breakdown of talks, police said they hoped the siege would end peacefully.