Suspect killed, hostages freed after nearly 13-hour standoff with Tennessee police

A man accused of taking two women and a child hostage was killed early Friday morning after a nearly 13-hour standoff with police at a Tennessee tax service center, authorities said.

The standoff began around 5:20 p.m. Thursday when police received a call for a domestic disturbance at Deans Tax Service, said Jack Howell, interim chief of the Covington Police Department.

Two minutes later, the call was upgraded to an “armed party with hostages,” he said at a news conference.

About 30 minutes after officers arrived, an employee and child were able to escape, Howell said. Tipton County Sheriff Shannon Beasley said the woman and child unlocked the front door and fled after the suspect moved to a different area inside the business.

Authorities said they tried negotiating with the suspect until 12:40 a.m. when he cut off all communication with them.

“During the time of the negotiations, he said numerous times that he was going to kill her, made notations … that nobody was getting out of their alive,” Howell said.

Beasley said hostage negotiators made over 200 phone calls to the suspect and when he refused to pick up, authorities used a chemical agent in an attempt to either flush him out or get him to release the hostage.

When that did not work, a SWAT team went inside the business and were immediately met by gunfire, according to Beasley. A SWAT team member was shot by the suspect and is expected to recover after undergoing surgery.

The sheriff said a sniper shot the suspect once. The SWAT team fired several more shots, killing him.

The final hostage was rescued early Friday morning. She is being treated at a hospital, officials said.

Beasley said authorities are not releasing the names of anyone involved until all family members have been notified.

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