A 10-year-old boy is being held hostage inside his Liberty Township home as a SWAT team tries to negotiate his release Saturday, according to Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones.
A gunman is barricaded with the child inside an apartment in the 7000 block of East Hamilton Place, he said.
The suspect has fired 20 to 30 shots at deputies since the situation started about 1 a.m. Authorities have not returned fire, according to the sheriff.
A few more shots were fired at authorities just before 1 p.m.
“You’ve heard gunfire in the past few minutes and that’s where the suspect inside is shooting at us. So we’ve not returned fire at his time We”re still trying to negotiate. Negotiations aren’t going so well,” Jones said in a media briefing at the scene.
“He’s still inside and he still has the 10-year-old boy with him. We’ve been very patient but there’s a 10-year-old involved. He’s got a 10-year-old in there as a hostage. We’re trying to get the kid out, we’re trying to end this and resolve this in a good way for everybody but right now he’s got the 10-year-old in there so we’re trying to negotiate still but it’s a very hostile situation now. I can’t say anything more than that.”
Earlier Saturday, Jones said the gunman is not related to the boy.
The suspect began holding him hostage after an altercation inside the apartment.
The other people inside at the time fled and are safe. Investigators are talking with them.
“It’s very tense. This a very fluid situation. There’s been several rounds fired, at least 20 rounds, our vehicle’s been hit and we think our robot’s been hit,” Jones said.
A SWAT team has been communicating with the man and boy on a megaphone. They heard the boy’s voice and the man’s voice.
“He’s very cautious of us. We didn’t start this. It started with an altercation inside the house,” Jones said.
“We’re just trying to get it resolved and get the child out of there, get (the suspect) out of there. The boy seems fine at this time. Communication is a good thing.”
Residents in the immediate area have been safely evacuated.
Liberty Township is located about 40 minutes north of downtown Cincinnati.
FOX19 NOW remains on scene and will continue to update this story on air and all our digital platforms.
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