HAVRE DE GRACE, Md. - A barricade and hostage situation in Harford County ended with a man dead from a police bullet Saturday.
34-year-old Austin Francis Jones was shot and killed after officials say he made an "overt gesture" with a black object toward officers.
Havre de Grace police responded to a report of a fight in the 700 block of Erie Street around 4:20 pm.
When officers arrived, they discovered a man they believed was armed and holding someone against their will.
Responding officers called in the Harford County Sheriff’s office Crisis Negotiation Team and the Special Response Team to assist.
"When we arrived and set up, we did continue to make contact with Mr. Jones. We were able to negotiate the release of the hostage," says Kristie Kahler, spokesperson for the Harford County Sheriff's Office. "At some point, he does reach his arm out of the window, motioning to the SRT teams, with what they're describing as a black object, and possibly threatening the deputies that were on the ground, other units that were in the area, and the community. And at that point, the Special Response Team did take that as a threat, striking and killing Mr. Jones."
Neighbors say they're in shock.
"It's too scary, too close to home," says Sue Thompson, who has lived on Erie Street for nearly 11 years. "I didn't see too much action going on, and then this happened last night, and it's like wow. Right down the street? Right in the same place where I used to live? It's just frightening," she says.
Officials say a woman living at the home had a protective order out against Jones, but they could not confirm if she was the hostage victim.
The deputy who fired the shot is on routine administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation. His identity is not being released.
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