Hostages freed after 16-hour standoff; suspect presumed dead

A man barricaded himself in his sister’s home. After the rescue, the house burned.

Associated Press

ISSAQUAH — SWAT teams rescued four people Sunday after a 16-hour standoff between police and a man who barricaded himself in his sister’s home.

The Seattle Times reported that the standoff ended in a house fire and that the suspect is believed to have died in the flames. The hostages rescued were the sister, her boyfriend and two young children. No identities were released Sunday, but police said that the suspect was armed with a handgun and was the 28-year old brother of the woman whose home he forced his way into Saturday night.

A King County sheriff’s SWAT team rescued the boyfriend and two children just before 1 a.m. Sunday but were unable to reach the sister, who was in a different part of the house, according to a Washington State Patrol spokesman.

After negotiators were unsuccessful over the next 9½ hours in getting the brother to release his sister and to surrender, a second SWAT operation rescued the sister unharmed. Within minutes of her rescue, and after negotiators were unable to raise any response from the home, SWAT teams deployed gas into the house.

The Patrol spokesman said he did not know what kind or whether the type of canisters used were capable of starting a fire. Fire investigators from King County are involved in the investigation and fire investigators were going through the smoldering remains of the badly damaged home Sunday night.

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