Texas shooting: Gunman releases two hostages after firing on three police officers outside Austin home

‘Please come out and surrender yourself peacefully so we can resolve this situation tonight,’ says interim chief of police Mike Harmon

James Crump@thejamescrump
Monday 17 August 2020 15:31
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Two hostages have been released from a Texas home, as three police officers were shot by the suspect who remains inside the residence with his mother held at gunpoint.

The suspect, a man believed to be in his mid-20s, has been in a standoff with police for more than 16 hours, after he initially held three family members hostage, including his mother and a child, in Cedar Park, Texas, from Sunday afternoon.

At around 3.10pm on Sunday, officers from the Cedar Park Police Department responded to a call from the suspect’s mother, who said her son was acting aggressively and had kicked in the door of their home, according to USA Today.

The department’s interim chief of police Mike Harmon said that when officers arrived at the house they were “met with gunfire,” and confirmed that three of them were shot, at a press conference on Sunday evening.

The officers were taken to a local hospital and Mr Harmon, who spoke to them personally, said that all three of them were in a stable condition and did not suffer life-threatening injuries.

The department confirmed that there is an active shooter inside the residence and urged all local residents: “Please do not leave until we say it is safe to do so”.

On Monday morning, the department confirmed that the suspect had released two of the hostages, but that he remained in the house with his mother.

The department tweeted: “8am Update: We can confirm that two of the hostages have been released. The suspect and one other hostage remain in the home at this time.”

Mr Harmon told reporters on Monday morning that the breakthrough was made because the “negotiations team has been doing an outstanding job throughout the night.”

On Sunday, Mr Harmon had pleaded with the suspect to let all of the hostages out of the house and said: “Please, if you’re listening to this, please come out and surrender yourself peacefully so we can resolve this situation tonight.”

The interim chief of police added that the department wanted the incident to end without injury “for everybody involved. For the suspect that is inside, for the hostages that are inside, for the officers that are on the scene.”

Mr Harmon confirmed that the suspect suffers from “mental health issues” and added that the department want to “get this person the help they need.”

Texas governor Greg Abbott released a statement on Sunday, where he said: “Our hearts are with the police officers who were injured while protecting the Cedar Park community this afternoon.

“We must never take for granted the service and sacrifice of our law enforcement officers, and the state of Texas stands ready to provide the support and resources needed to bring justice to those involved.”

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