Long standoff at Texas home ends after all hostages released

The suspect and the last hostage exited the house peacefully, police said.

August 17, 2020, 7:11 PM

A long standoff between police and a gunman holed up with hostages in a suburb of Austin, Texas, ended Monday morning, a day after three police officers were shot inside the home while responding to a 911 call about a domestic disturbance.

Three people related to the suspect were being held hostage inside the house in Cedar Park, following Sunday's shooting. Two of the hostages were released Monday morning before the suspect and the last hostage exited the home "peacefully," according to a tweet from the Cedar Park Police Department.

"The scene will continue to be active for quite a while as we investigate," police added.

The incident began on shortly after 3 p.m. Sunday local time. A man in his mid-20s had kicked down the door of his mother's home and was "acting very aggressive," according to Mike Harmon, interim police chief for the Cedar Park Police Department.

The police later identified the man as Joseph DeSean Taylor, 26.

Responding officers were met with gunfire inside the house. They returned gunfire, and it is unknown if the suspect was hit, Harmon said. At least 50 bullets were fired during the incident, according to police.

Following the shooting, the suspect barricaded himself inside the home with three family members, including his mother and a juvenile, Harmon said. The age of the third family member remains unknown.

PHOTO: Police respond to a 911 call in a Cedar Park, Texas, home on August 16, 2020.
Police respond to a 911 call in a Cedar Park, Texas, home on August 16, 2020.
KVUE

Residents of the area were urged to stay indoors early Monday morning as the suspect remained barricaded inside the house. Negotiators were in talks with the suspect to "bring this to a peaceful resolution," the police chief told reporters at a press conference Sunday night.

"We do have a message for the suspect inside, and please take this to heart," Harmon said. "We want to end this peacefully for everybody involved. For the suspect inside, for the hostages that are inside, for the officers that are on the scene, for everybody."

"So please, if you're listening to this, please come out and surrender yourself peacefully so we can resolve this situation tonight," he added.

The Cedar Park Police Department has responded to the residence in the past, according to Harmon. The suspect has "some mental health issues," he said, but did not elaborate beyond that.

Taylor has been charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon on a public servant and three counts of aggravated kidnapping, according to police. He was taken to a local hospital to be examined and was awaiting transport to the Williamson County Jail, the police said.

The three officers who were shot were rushed to an area hospital in stable condition while the suspect remained barricaded inside the house, according to a tweet Sunday evening from the Cedar Park Police Department.

The officers were later identified as Officer Jacqueline Quiles, a four-year veteran of the force, Officer Cris Hester, a 10-year veteran, and Officer Nik Anderson, an eight-year veteran.

The police chief later told reporters that the wounded officers had non-life-threatening injuries and two were released from the hospital Monday. One was still in stable condition as of Monday evening.

The three officers will be placed on administrative leave while the Cedar Park Police Department's Professional Standards Division conducts an internal investigation, which is part of the department's policy during shootings, the police said.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott shared his condolences for the injured officers.

"Our hearts are with the police officers who were injured while protecting the Cedar Park community this afternoon," Abbott said in a statement.

ABC News' Josh Margolin and Cammeron Parrish contributed to this report.

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