Donald Gazaway

Gunman takes young boy hostage, uses him as ‘human shield’ during 30-hour standoff: Police

Authorities in Ohio have arrested a man accused of taking a 10-year-old boy hostage during an armed standoff with police that lasted more than an entire day.

According to WXIX, the incident was finally resolved Sunday morning, when 31-year-old Donald Tobias Gazaway was arrested, though local officials admitted responding officers were unsure a peaceful resolution would be possible.

“We felt he wanted us to shoot him,” Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said in a news conference shortly after the standoff was over.

He said officers could “hear the child inside” crying, adding that the boy “wanted to get out.”

The child’s mother requested not to be identified, but shared with reporters her relief that the ordeal was finally over.

“I’m just happy this turned out all right and he’s going to be OK,” she said.

According to reports, Gazaway, who is not related to his alleged hostage, arrived with a weapon at the home of the boy and his mother Friday evening. Investigators believe the suspect took the boy with him to an attached garage, where they both sat inside of a running vehicle throughout much of the day Saturday.

Authorities arrived at the location Saturday morning, after the boy’s mother and one of her friends left the apartment to contact police.

At different points during the day, reports indicate Gazaway fired as many as 30 shots in the direction of deputies, who did not return fire. The presence of a child hostage at the scene, officials said, made the situation trickier and resulted to a longer standoff.

As for Gazaway, reports indicate he was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping, felonious assault and inducing panic. He was booked into jail Sunday morning after he surrendered to officers, as WCPO reported.

The suspect was reportedly on parole at the time of the standoff, following a four-year prison stint for a felonious assault conviction originating in Hamilton County.

Aided by a tactical unit and other local agencies, Butler County sheriff’s deputies engaged with the suspect for what many in the department said was the longest standoff they had ever encountered.

[Featured image: Donald Gazaway/Butler County Jail]