A two year old girl is alive and safe today thanks to the actions of a Tulsa Police SWAT sniper. A woman’s estranged husband forced his way into her Tulsa home armed with a gun. Fortunately, the woman was able to escape the home with three of her four children safely. However, she was unable to secure her two year old daughter and the estranged husband quickly took her hostage. A standoff with police, including SWAT officers, ensued.
According to local media reports:
A man who authorities allege forced his way inside his estranged wife’s east Tulsa home with a gun and took her 2-year-old daughter hostage was fatally shot by a police sniper early Tuesday.
Officers responded to a reported domestic-related call at a residence in the 4300 block of South 170th East Avenue shortly before midnight. Upon their arrival, a woman told them her estranged husband forced his way inside her home and grabbed her youngest child, a 2-year-old girl, while armed with a gun, police spokesman Leland Ashley said.
Police attempted to make contact with the man, who Ashley said “spoke very little English.” A Spanish-speaking officer made multiple requests for him to release the child, and the man eventually stepped onto the second-floor balcony while holding the girl with one hand and the gun with the other, Ashley said.
Officers indicated the man pointed the firearm at them and the girl during the standoff, which continued for several hours.
Shortly after 3 a.m., the man reportedly returned to the doorway of the balcony while holding the child’s hand. He was then shot and killed by a sniper with one of the department’s special operations teams.
A police spokesman said that it was unclear whether the man ultimately understood all of their commands, but based on his actions it was clear that he was putting the toddler as well as officers in danger.
The officer who took the shot to free the young girl has been placed on paid administrative leave per department policy.
Police say that the man that was shot and killed was not the father of the young girl he was holding hostage.
This is the fifth fatal shooting that the Tulsa Police Department has been involved in so far in 2016.