A hostage situation at a New York gas station finally ended after police posed as a TV news crew and pretended to interview the suspect, News10 ABC in Albany reports.
Troy Police were called to the Stewart’s Shops convenience store on Vandenburgh Avenue at around 11:15 p.m. Thursday, June 2, with reports of a hostage situation, police said.
When officers arrived, they said they found heavy damage to the front of the building and two male employees and one male suspect inside.
The suspect was standing behind a counter holding what appeared to be a knife to the throat of one employee, police said.
The weapon was later revealed to be a pair of scissors, investigators said.
A Crisis Negotiation Team was brought in who began talking with the suspect through the broken front door, according to police.
Within minutes, the suspect released the employee but continued standing behind the second worker while holding the scissors to his throat, police said.
Nearly an hour went by before the suspect agreed to release the employee and put his weapon down and surrender, police said.
He agreed to do so only after police came up with the unconventional idea to pose as a TV news crew that would allow the suspect to "tell his story that he wished to get out there," News10 ABC reports.
Officers called around to different news stations in the Albany area and told them to get to the scene as quickly as possible, the Albany Times Union reports.
A crew from Channel 10 got there first.
Police borrowed their TV camera, dressed an officer as a camera man, and pretended to record the suspect as he shared his story, News10 ABC reports.
Once the "interview" was complete, the suspect released the second employee and was taken into custody for a medical evaluation, police said.
Police believe the incident stemmed from a mental health crisis.
Investigators said it appears the location and hostages were chosen at random. The suspect used his car to ram the front doors to get inside the store, police said.
Neither employee was injured during the ordeal.
Police are still investigating the incident and said criminal charges are pending.
Troy Mayor Patrick Madden praised the crisis negotiators for the positive outcome and said all Troy Police officers are trained to deal with people in mental health crisis.
"Their expert handling of the situation was critical to a peaceful outcome for the suspect and Stewart’s employees, as well as connecting this individual to relevant mental health services," Madden said.
The Stewart's Shops location has since reopened to customers.
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