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Police Sniper Killed Fla. Hostage

July 26, 2000

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) _ A police sniper fired the shot that killed a woman being held hostage by a murder suspect during a three-day standoff, authorities said Tuesday.

The sniper was aiming for hostage-taker Jamie Dean Petron when Andrea Hall, 40, was hit, said Orlando Police Chief Jerry Demings. Demings would not discuss details of the shooting, which the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating.

The Orlando police officer who fired the shot, Christopher J. Savard, 34, an 8-year veteran who had been a certified sniper for more than two years, was placed on paid administrative leave pending the investigation. Demings said the department expressed its condolences to Hall’s family.

Several of Hall’s relatives spent the day at the medical examiner’s office and took the news hard, said Carl Hall, the victim’s ex-husband.

``They are a very close family, very religious,″ he said. ``She was a good woman.″

Petron told police negotiators on Sunday afternoon that they shot someone when the sniper fired into the home, but authorities said he refused to let them into the house or give up the injured hostage.

Demings said Petron also threatened to hurt the other hostages, children ranging in ages from about 8 months to 16 years old, if authorities tried to enter the home.

Petron took Hall and four members of her family hostage on Saturday. He was suspected of killing a Broward County convenience store clerk and shooting an Orange County deputy in the leg.

Petron committed suicide Monday afternoon, 51 hours after rushing into the family’s home. The four other hostages, which included Hall’s 8-year-old son and infant daughter, were not injured.

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