JONESBORO, AR - Police say a Jonesboro man and his estranged wife are dead after he took her hostage at gunpoint last night.
The hostage situation lasted through the evening, as police and family members called 43-year-old James Rouse, who allegedly held a shotgun on his estranged wife, 39-year-old Donna Lynn Rouse. Police say Donna Rouse had several opportunities to escape from the north Jonesboro apartment, but she did not take them.
After 8 a.m. this morning, officers say they turned off the utilities to the apartment. Police fired tear gas and a "flash-bang" device that had an explosive sound and spewed smoke into the apartment. After that, a K8 news crew watching the apartment heard two gunshots.
According to police, officers entered the apartment, where they found James Rouse dead from a self-inflicted wound. An ambulance took Donna Rouse to St. Bernard's Medical Center, where she later died from a gunshot wound.
Officers say Rouse previously held his wife hostage ten years ago in Trumann.
Police had hoped James Rouse's diabetes might be the key in ending the stand-off. Police had said Rouse didn't have any insulin in the apartment, leading officers to hope he'd simply pass out.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
UPDATED AT 9:30 a.m. CDT on June 5, 2007, updated again at 9:55 a.m., updated at 11:27 a.m.
JONESBORO, AR - Two people are dead today after a man who had been holding his estranged wife hostage for several hours in a north Jonesboro apartment reportedly shot his estranged wife, and then turned the gun on himself.
James Rouse had been holed up inside a residence on Scott Street since around 8 p.m. last night, allegedly holding his wife hostage while armed with a shotgun. Police had tried negotiating with him for several hours, and members of his family at the scene had also made pleas for him to surrender to police. At approximately 8:30 this morning, a K8 News crew at the scene reported hearing shots fired at the scene, and ambulances arrived there a short time later.
K8 News will have more information on this developing story as details become available.
JONESBORO, AR - Shots were fired at a long-running police standoff in north Jonesboro this morning.
At approximately 8:30 a.m. shots were fired, possibly inside the residence, and it is also believed that police fired a teargas cannister into the residence at 908 Scott Street. At least two ambulances have also responded to the scene. K8 News will have more details on this developing story as they become available.
JUNE 5, 2007 - Posted at 3:27 a.m. CDT
JONESBORO, AR -- Jonesboro Police remain on the scene of a hostage situation in north Jonesboro this morning, now several hours into the standoff.
Officers on the scene tell K8 News that a man armed with a shotgun and identified as James Rouse is holding his wife hostage at 908 Scott Street, Apartment G. The apartment complex is near the corner of Scott and Greensboro Road. Police received the call shortly before 8 P.M.
Rouse has made a name for himself at this kind of thing. Years back, he was responsible for a similar situation in Trumann. This time around, the scenario isn't much different. What starts off as a basic 911 call into the Jonesboro Police Department, drags on into the early morning hours as much more.
"Basic information was we had a barricaded gunman supposedly holding a female subject hostage in the house and made numerous threats about killing her," says Jonesboro Police Chief Mike Yates.
Police have learned he is holding his own wife hostage with a loaded shotgun inside his apartment. The motive remains a mystery to police at this hour.
"We managed to get officers on the scene and get our tactical unit in route and contain the area," says Chief Yates.
As more and more police officers and special units arrive on the scene and prepare for the unknown, the longer the situation continues. Although Chief Yates feels everything is under control for the most part, it still isn't changing the severity and danger of the hostage standoff.
"The danger to the community is fairly low at this point, but it probably doesn't get more dangerous for the officers," says Chief Yates.
Putting their own lives at risk to avoid losing another, each officer is waiting patiently, hoping that it will come to a peaceful end...an end without a fatal result on either side of this tense situation.
"It could end peacefully and very quickly or it can be very long and drawn out. We're hoping to find a pretty peaceful and safe resolution to it fairly quick but we just have to go with the information we have. We're prepared to be here awhile," adds Chief Yates.
And they are. Eventually, police were able to negotiate with Rouse. His mother, Norma Rouse, arrived on the scene an hour into the standoff. She and several other family members and friends have made contact with him on cell phones. This morning on Good Morning Region 8, Mrs. Rouse made an emotional plea for her son to give himself up to police.