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Brief history of long-running police standoffs

Updated at: 02/04/2013 7:38 PM
By The Associated Press

Six days after 65-year-old loner Jim Dykes boarded a school bus, fatally shot the driver and grabbed a 5-year-old boy, FBI agents stormed the makeshift bunker where Dykes was holed up, rescuing the kindergartener. Dykes is dead. The standoff lasted more than 140 hours, making it among the longest in recent memory involving a single hostage taker.

Some other lengthy standoffs:

About 104 hours

_ March 28-April 1, 1999: Willie Southern, 34, went into a Jackson, Miss., hotel room with his two sons, saying he feared for his life because he believed there was a plot to kill him for insurance money. Southern finally emerged from the motel five days later with his 9-year-old son in his arms. He allowed his 14-year-old son to leave on the second day of the standoff.

98 hours

_ March 18-21, 2000: After a 10-day manhunt for quadruple-murder suspect Joseph Palczynski, police in Baltimore County, Md., storm the apartment where he’d held a couple and their 12-year-old son hostage. Officers shot Palczynski 27 times.

68 hours

_ Dec. 9-12, 1997:

John Edward Armstrong, who had been suspected of killing a man and wounding a woman, led police on a car chase that ended near an Orlando, Fla., duplex. He broke into the home, chasing the youngsters’ mothers out at gunpoint and taking two children hostage. SWAT team members entered the duplex as the sleep-deprived Armstrong slept for the first time in the 68-hour ordeal. Armstrong was killed in the ensuing struggle and an officer was injured, but the children were not harmed.

46 hours

_ June 16-18, 1999: Police said Denis P. Czajkowski held two women hostage at Norristown State Hospital in Norristown, Pa., the mental hospital where he once worked. He is accused of eventually killing one woman and wounding the other. Czajkowski told police shortly after the standoff ended that he believed the hostages were part of a conspiracy that led to his dismissal at work.

43 hours

July 4-5, 1998: The standoff began in Macon, Ga., between police and Thomas St. Pierre, 33, after the man refused to release his 21-month-old son, Jeramie, to his estranged wife. The standoff ended in a confrontation during which St. Pierre was killed and two police officers were shot. The boy was unharmed.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)