Hostage

Saturday police were called to an apartment building on a report of a possible intruder at around 8 pm. When they responded to the building, they found there was no intruder.

Instead they found Georgina Martens, 44, (I have also seen her name written as Georgina Martins) who told them she had been held hostage in her apartment, by her boyfriend  William Christopher Smith, 53, . She had managed to escape and had taken refuge in a stairway.

Police were unable to make contact with Smith, so they called in hostage negotiators and the SWAT team. Attempts to make contact with Smith all were unsuccessful, after three hours. Police tried bullhorns and cell phones. At one point, they even tried tear gas to try to drive him out.

Finally, after all other attempts were unsuccessful the SWAT team entered the apartment about 4:18 am. There they found the body of Smith, dead from what they believe was a self inflicted gunshot wound. Authorities say they had never been able to make contact with Smith, and they never heard a shot.

During the stand off, other residents were escorted to the police station across the street. The investigation is continuing.

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/15213500.htm

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/southflorida/sfl-0806cdead,0,1209850.story?coll=sfla-home-headlines

Luckily the woman escaped. And luckily someone called police. But even after that, there was danger. The typical apartment will have neighbors on one or two sides, and above and below. One misplaced shot and there could still be a tragedy in another apartment. Police officers who respond could also be endangered.

What happened, what led up to the hostage taking, and the standoff is not being discussed in the media.

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