Update - Standoff Ends Tragically - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR - Yalanda Young Reports

Update - Standoff Ends Tragically

Jonesboro, AR - Two people are dead after gunman shoots estranged wife then turns gun on himself.

K8 News was first on the scene after the 9-1-1 call Monday night.

Neighbors said Donna Rouse had only moved in four days prior and it was just her and two dogs.

"Monday night around 5 or 6, he came over and we heard some commotion, but then a boy came running out of the house screaming, 'He's got a gun, my daddy's got a gun! Call the Police!"

Police Chief Mike Yates told us about the call. 

"A gunman has barricaded him and a female hostage inside Apartment 908 G on Scott St."

The gunman was later identified at James Rouse, and his female hostage was his estranged wife Donna Rouse.

Chief Yates led the Jonesboro Police Dept. and SWAT team as they tried to control the situation.

"When we arrived, we contained the scene and evacuated close neighbors. Then we tried to establish initial contact with the suspect."

Family and friends of the suspect arrived soon after.

"We let the family talk to him. We thought they may be able to talk him out. You name it we tried everything."

Everything including cokes and candy bars.

"Mr. Rouse has many medical issues, one of them is diabetes. He may not have his insulin, and without it, he will be wearing down. We tried to get him to come out by putting cokes and candy bars on the porch, but he was afraid we would attack him. So we were just hoping his condition would make him wear down."

So their plan of action was to wait it out. During a live interview, Norma Rouse, James' mother, pleaded with him to give up. Even police thought it would help.

"We were very optimistic about the outcome many times throughout the night. We really thought this would end peacefully."

At 8:00 Tuesday morning, the suspects behavior began to change. He started pointing the sawed-off shotgun out the window.

"When he started to point the gun out to us, that's when we realized we have to protect the community, the people's safety, our safety."

Swat teams circled the apartment. Police gave Rouse one last time to surrender by throwing tear gas in.

At that time, James Rouse shot his estranged wife, and then turned the gun on himself.

Police threw in flash bangs as a safety precaution and entered the building.

Ambulances were rushed to the scene, one leaving with Donna Rouse still clinging to life. She later died at St. Bernards. James Rouse was pronounced dead at the scene.

Throughout the commotion, family and friends were gathered at the top of the street, unable to see what was going on, but still able to hear. What sounded like a gunshot, sent family into a frenzy, causing James Rouse's mother, Norma to faint.

After family was notified, K8 News brought you the up to date information, reporting the standoff was over.

It was a tragic end, something that police thought would end peacefully.

 

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