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Gunman Shoots Self After Four-Hour Standoff; Child Hostage Unhurt

January 18, 1986

CINCINNATI (AP) _ A man wanted for murder held a 4-year-old girl hostage at gunpoint for four hours in a public housing complex, then fatally shot himself as police negotiators tried to get him to surrender.

Police were able to rescue the girl unharmed minutes after the hostage- taker, Mark Lindsay Jones, 25, of Cincinnati, shot himself in the head with a handgun late Friday afternoon.

Jones, shot in the right temple, was taken to University Hospital where he died at 11:19 p.m., said a hospital spokesman.

Assistant Police Chief Edward Ammann said police had sought Jones on an arrest warrant charging him with aggravated murder for the Jan. 2 fatal shooting of a Cincinnati woman, Piper Campbell, 22, during a domestic dispute.

Officers were told he had been at the housing complex and they surprised him in the apartment of a woman he had been staying with in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood near downtown, Ammann said.

The woman is the mother of Cassandra Oden, the girl who was taken hostage and then rescued, police said. The mother gave police her name as both Sherri Oden and Sherri Brown.

The mother said she was relived her child was safe but angry over the incident. ″Out of all the girls he knew, he came to see me. He could have taken my little girl’s life,″ she said.

Police Chief Lawrence Whalen said Jones ″fired a shot, told them he wouldn’t be taken.″

″He fired a shot, threw out some bullets and said, ’I’ve got plenty of ammunition,‴ Ammann said.

Whalen said police had been negotiating by telephone with Jones for about an hour and believed they were making progress in their attempts to persuade him to surrender.

″We were in the process of moving officers back and re-aligning them when they heard the shot. They feared for the safety of the hostage, so they kicked the door in,″ Whalen said.

Police had evacuated most residents of apartments near where the girl was being held and advised other residents to stay away from their windows.

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