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Suspect, Hostage Dead in Store Standoff

WILLARD, OH — The suspect who took hostages at a Willard business on Wednesday is dead, according to authorities.

Police said the man took a woman hostage at gunpoint. She drove him to the Family Dollar on Walton Street West, but got away safely.

Once inside the store, authorities said the suspect took two more hostages.

The city was called around 5:18 p.m. and a robbery at the store was reported.

However, once emergency crews responded, the suspect said he did not want money and requested to “make a statement.”

He barricaded the front doors to prevent anyone from coming inside.

After several hours of negotiations, one of the victims ran out the back door around 8 p.m. saying that shots were fired.

Police had to break the front windows to enter the building.

The other female victim was transported to the hospital for an apparent gunshot wound.

According to the City of Willard Twitter page, that victim later died.

Authorities say the suspect then turned the gun on himself. The 19-year-old Mansfield man was dead when police entered the building.

Authorities do not have a motive, but say the suspect made an odd demand, requesting General Tso’s chicken during the standoff.

Several family members of the suspect were on the scene. Police say they are awaiting additional details from a hostage negotiator.

U.S. 224 between S.R. 103 and S.R. 99, was closed for several hours but was reopened when the City of Willard tweeted that the “emergency condition” no longer existed.

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(FOX 8’s Emily Valdez and Jessica Dabrowski contributed to this report.)

1 Comment

  • Shh

    Mistakes are made but this is a sad evening for many families for the victims and the gunmans. My prayers go out to all parties.

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