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Police Storm London Apartment, Rescue Girl Held Hostage 29 Hours

December 26, 1985

LONDON (AP) _ Police rescued a 4-year-old girl Thursday when they stormed a West London apartment and shot the man who had been holding her hostage for 29 hours after stabbing her mother to death on Christmas Day.

Officers, hurling stun grenades and firing shots, forced their way into the third-floor apartment of a public housing complex in Northolt after a man with a carving knife threatened to stab the girl, Scotland Yard said.

The girl, identified as Carlene Charles, was in satisfactory condition in a hospital Thursday night with stab wounds to her neck and arm.

An officer who spoke on condition he not be identified said the man had been holding the girl hostage since Wednesday morning, when her mother, Jackie Charles, 22, died of stab wounds. Earlier, a 6-year-girl was rescued unharmed from the apartment.

Police commander Brian Sparks told a news conference a police marksman fired three shots at the man, who was hit twice, in the shoulder and the back of the head. He underwent a brain scan Thursday night but a hospital spokesman said there was ″no immediate danger to his life.″

The man, about 30 years old, was placed under arrest at the hospital but Scotland Yard said he had not yet been charged.

Police sources said Carlene’s dead mother was the step-sister of the man’s wife and that the ordeal began Christmas Day during a domestic argument.

Police said they had been negotiating with the man to end surrender peacefully, until he shouting from a blacony that he would stab the girl.

Officers from the tactical firearms unit then broke windows and threw in two stun grenades that exploded, sending smoke billowing from the apartment, and quickly ended the siege.

Update hourly