Texas Hostage Standoff Leaves 2 Dead

Two people were found dead at a medical building following an apparent hostage situation late Tuesday in Austin, Texas, according to police and local news reports.

In a briefing, an Austin Police Department spokesman said patrol officers responded to a disturbance call late Tuesday afternoon and found a “barricaded subject inside.” Police would not detail how many people were taken hostage and whether anyone was released earlier.

But authorities, using a robot fitted with a camera, saw one victim inside, and sent a SWAT team to enter the building. Two total victims were found deceased, “one that was not originally inside the building and one that was not,” the spokesman said.

It was not immediately clear how many people were involved in the incident, or if both of the deceased individuals were hostages. The homicide unit has taken over the investigation, and police said further details on the case would be released Wednesday morning.

Negotiators were heard hours earlier communicating with the hostage taker. The SWAT team’s communications indicated that the hostage taker may have been a doctor.

“Doctor, please let us help preserve that legacy of so many children and lives you have saved,” a negotiator was heard over loudspeaker in a video taken by KXAN journalist Jody Barr. “We want to make sure that you’re going to be safe and we can’t guarantee your safety unless you follow our instructions.”

“You’ve helped so many people and I know you’ve been dealt a very terrible card, but you’ve spent your entire life dedicated to other people, helping other people. That’s what everyone will remember,” she said.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.