Two people were killed Tuesday night during a hostage situation suspected to have been orchestrated by an armed doctor at a children’s medical facility in Austin, Texas, a CBS affiliate reported.
Law enforcement officials received initial reports of an armed individual entering the Children’s Medical Group facility and taking people hostage, CBS Austin reported. The incident lasted approximately six hours, and law enforcement officials gave a press conference after the situation had been de-escalated at around 11 p.m.
The suspected gunman appeared to be a doctor, according to reporters at the scene, KVUE reported.
“You don’t deserve to go through this … for all you have done for others … that is why I want to help you work through this. You have saved a lot of lives,” a negotiator told the suspect, KVUE reported.
UPDATE: Authorities say it has now been at least two hours since any contact with hostage taker. They have told him that his sister is very concerned about him and have been in touch with her. https://t.co/AllZbLTOI3
— Tony Plohetski (@tplohetski) January 27, 2021
Law enforcement officials used a robot to enter the building where they discovered one victim. A SWAT team found two dead while clearing the building, KVUE reported.
It is unclear how many people were taken hostage during the situation that lasted approximately six hours, KVUE reported. A negotiator tried for hours to appeal to the suspect to release the hostages.
“We know you have a lot going on in your life. We know you have been helping children your whole life,” the negotiator said, according to KVUE. The suspect reportedly asked for the police to call him, though their attempts to reach him were unsuccessful.
“I know you have helped so many children. We want that to be your legacy. Please make that possible,” the negotiator added, KVUE reported. (RELATED: Gunman Holds 20 People Hostage And Demands $500,000 At Bank In Georgia)
Officials did not release any information on the two victims, nor final numbers on how many hostages were taken, KVUE reported. An initial report estimated that at least five hostages were in the building at one point, according to KVUE.
A witness who works at a nearby dentist’s office said she saw a group of people exiting the medical facility and offered them shelter in her office, KVUE reported.
“A whole group of people from next door had gotten free. I guess they escaped out the back door is what they said,” the witness said, KVUE reported. “And I just opened the door and I was like, ‘Come here, come here, come here.’ So, they came in and they were panicked, obviously, crying like, so upset. And so the three front desk girls had a gun like, waved in their face and they were told to lock the doors.”
Several agencies including the Austin Police Department, the Travis County Sheriff’s Office and the Austin Fire Department and Austin-Travis County EMS responded to the scene, KVUE reported.
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