Niagara Gazette

Local News

June 14, 2013

Falls police free two hostages from armed stand-off.

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — "Mike Corcoran, he's a new lieutenant and he did just a great job," ERT Commander Capt. Dave LeGault said. "Because of the position of the houses, there was only one way to get to that back (bedroom) window and that was for the officers to put themselves in harm's way. If that guy had been up and seen them, he would have had a shot at them. But they took that risk."

Corcoran told the sharpshooters on the perimeter of the scene that Gee and Officer Rick Fleck would make a "tactical approach" to the home and attempt the rescue. He told the victim that help was on the way.

"(The victim) was told to open the window and when she saw the officers at her window to exit and follow their commands," Corcoran wrote. "Officers Fleck and Gee did tactically approach the residence and did assist the female and her son out. Officers did provide cover and guidance to the two victims until they were taken a safe distance away from the residence."

LeGault said the actions of the patrol officers was a huge help for his ERT team.

"That took our stress level from 100 to 20," LeGault said. "Now, with the hostages out, the only person who might get hurt is (the suspect) and I can wait all day to get him out. If he has hostages, that changes everything."

With the hostages out, ERT negotiators attempted to make contact with the suspect, but their calls were not picked up. After a period of time, ERT officers were able to observe the suspect asleep on a couch, with a rifle by his side.

Despite the danger, ERT officers decided to make an entry into the home.

"We were told (the suspect) was a light sleeper and would wake up if he heard any noise," LeGault said. "And that's exactly what he did."

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