Austin SWAT team in hours-long standoff outside medical center, doctor reportedly held hostage inside
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The Austin Police Department’s SWAT team is currently in a more than six-hour standoff at a medical center in central Austin, Texas, that began around 4:30 p.m.
At least one doctor is being held inside the building, KVUE reports. The parent of a patient at the medical center tells Fox News that their doctor is being held in the building.
Police are currently talking to the suspect, who also appears to also be a doctor, through a bullhorn, according to KVUE. The witness also told Fox News the suspect is a doctor.
“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,” the local news outlet reports that a police officer said through a bullhorn to the suspect. “You have saved a lot of lives.”
In a 911 call that came in about the incident around 4:30 p.m., it was reported that the suspect entered the office and took a hostage or hostages at gunpoint, FOX 7 in Austin reported.
In a 9 p.m. update, a FOX 7 reporter said a witness told her everyone inside the medical office had been taken hostage by the suspect, but he let at least three people go immediately.
“When I arrived on scene, I saw a woman being escorted by police out of the taped area where she was met and hugged by a child. And that’s what we’ve been seeing over the past few hours: multiple people being walked out and handed off to what we can only assume are loved ones,” FOX 7’s Amanda Ruiz reported.
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Law enforcement escorted at least one woman in scrubs away from the building, but it is unclear if she was ever held hostage, KXAN reports.
An officer also said through the bullhorn, “Everything that is happening tonight doesn’t take anything away from everything that you have accomplished as a doctor,” according to KEYE-TV reporter Melanie Barden.
“I cannot guarantee your safety unless you comply,” KVUE-TV reporter Tony Plohetski tweeted earlier of the hostage negotiator’s attempted communications with the suspect. “I am letting you know, doctor, there is a way to resolve this. I need your help to fix the situation. That starts with you answering the phone.”
“You’ve spent so much of your life helping the terminally ill, now it’s your turn for us to help you,” a negotiator said the suspect after over a bullhorn after a 25 break in contact before 11 p.m., KXAN reproter Jody Barr reported.
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Police have evacuated homes in the area surrounding the 1900 block of W 35th Street and are asking the public to stay away.
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