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Gunman in Texas Releases All Adult Hostages at Day Care Center but Still Holds a Few

December 18, 1997

Gunman in Texas Releases All Adult Hostages at Day Care Center but Still Holds a Few ChildrenBy CHARLES RICHARDS

PLANO, Texas (AP) _ A gunman who invaded a day-care center released his last adult captive early today, but he still held a few children hostage for a second day.

Police Chief Bruce Glasscock confirmed this morning that all adult hostages had been released from the Rigsbee Child Development Center. Police refused to say how many children were still captive inside the building, a converted house, or give any detail on how they were being treated.

Police said the man, identified by relatives as James Monroe Lipscomb Jr., had tried to rob someone outside the nearby Plano Bank and Trust shortly before he stormed the day-care center Wednesday afternoon in this suburb about 20 miles north of Dallas.

The man released 60 children and three adults shortly after the standoff began. A fourth adult was released just before midnight, while the fifth and last was freed about 4 a.m. today.

Some children were shaken up, but none was injured.

Several parents of the freed children said police told them three children, including two of the suspect’s own, remained inside the center. The children are ages 2, 5 and 7, the parents said.

FBI agents and Texas Rangers were on the scene early today along with officers from nearby Richardson who were brought in to relieve the Plano officers.

``We’re here for the long haul,″ Glasscock said.

Glasscock said authorities were in constant contact with the gunman and telephone negotiations were going well, and authorities had no timeline for getting the man to surrender.

Police refused to confirm the suspect’s identity or reports that he is married to a day-care employee. Witnesses said the couple has marital problems.

Lipscomb’s brother, nephew and neighbor identified him as the hostage-taker.

The nephew, 15-year-old Terrance Shaw, said he hopes his uncle ``remembers what he always used to tell me _ a moment of madness can lead to a lifetime of sadness.″

``I don’t know why he would do something like this,″ said neighbor Brianna Stanberry, whose 1-year-old niece was released from the day-care center. ``He’s never done anything like this before. What’s important now is getting the children out of there.″

Police received a call about 3:15 p.m. regarding a gunman at the day-care center and backed off after they found him in a doorway, Duke said.

Children who were released were taken to nearby Meadows Elementary School, where frantic parents gathered. Early in the standoff, one woman sobbed uncontrollably and fell to the street when told her child was among the hostages. Others prayed in groups.

As the children were freed, some with eyes red from crying, parents cradled them in their arms.

``She’s OK,″ said Charles Fink, whose 7-year-old granddaughter, Lana Brewer, was released. ``That’s what counts. She’s my love.″

Classes at the school were canceled today.

Update hourly