Armed gunman's standoff in NJ enters 3rd day

Associated Press

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A tense standoff and hostage situation with an armed man who barricaded himself in a house extended into a third day. Police are working to negotiate a peaceful ending.

The man, whose identity has not been released, remained holed-up in a two-story red brick house in South Trenton, authorities said. The house is surrounded by various law enforcement vehicles, some with lights flashing days after the conflict began.

Negotiators are in contact with the barricaded man, New Jersey State police Sgt. Adam Grossman said early Sunday.

The standoff began Friday afternoon, and police have declined to give any details on how many people were being held, saying only there were multiple hostages. Officials declined to give the ages of those being held in the apartment or their relationship to the man.

The standoff is an "ongoing, tense situation," said State police Lt. Stephen Jones, who added that police were working to bring this to a "peaceful end."

Mercer County Assistant Prosecutor Angelo Onofri echoed those comments Saturday afternoon.

"We are in constant contact with the suspect," Onofri said, "and everything is moving toward our hope for a peaceful resolution to this matter."

But the protracted showdown resulted in increased frustration and anger among family members of a woman they said was among the hostages. Late Saturday afternoon, some of them went under police tape and briefly confronted officers about the situation.

"Do something! Do something!" screamed a man who said he was the woman's nephew. "Make something happen!"

Police were called to the home before 3 p.m. Friday on reports that a man had barricaded himself inside.

Authorities said police entered the home and found the man brandishing a gun. Police retreated safely, and a SWAT team was called in. Police also had a robot on scene Saturday ready to enter the home.

State Police Sgt. Adam Grossman said an arson bomb unit was also on the scene. Police declined to say whether the man was making any demands.

Homes on the surrounding block have been evacuated as a precaution, and police tape cordoned off the street in front of the house and nearby. An ambulance was parked near the home but left the scene earlier Saturday.

Lt. Mark Kieffer told The Times of Trenton that police had not been called to the home before.

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