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Florida Hostage Standoff Comes to Close

Aired June 14, 2002 - 12:25   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Want to update you on the developing story taking place in the Coconut Grove section of Miami. You're looking at live pictures there now of what appear to be people exiting a home where, not long ago, a believed suspect was inside holed up along with a woman and children. That person, the suspect who we saw escorted out of the building not long ago, was believed to have shot an off-duty corrections officer in the stomach in that Coconut Grove section, before running into a home, which we believe was chosen at random.

Inside, children and a mother, presumably. You are seeing what appear to be -- at least a small child right now.

Our Susan Candiotti has been following it. She's on the telephone with us now.

Susan what do you know?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fredricka, it appears that at least three children have been brought out of the home. You're looking at that picture right now. Two children who are walking and one who is being held. You can see her being handed over now to someone else. We don't know the identity of the person who appears to be wearing hospital scrubs, and they're walking out of frame right now.

Evidently, just moments before this, another individual, a male, was brought out of the house with his hands behind his back. Handcuffs were put on him. First he had his hands up, then his hands put behind his back, and he was put inside a police car.

We don't know for sure whether that is the shooting suspect that is now in police custody or what his identity is for certain. But it certainly would appear as though these children who were inside the home are now safe and sound. We don't know who else, if anyone, remains inside the house or for sure whether that was the shooting suspect who was placed in back of the police car.

It sure would appear that way, but we do not have that confirmed yet.

WHITFIELD: Now, Susan, if you could one more time recap for us what we believe preceded this release of the children and the woman. You just did a great job explaining earlier. If you could just reexplain that.

CANDIOTTI: Of course. And it would appear now -- you just saw those children appear to be giving a statement to authorities. Actually you're looking at a scene -- can't tell if this is happening now or this is a replay -- yes, taped earlier of what occurred here.

It started when an off-duty corrections officer had stopped in this residential neighborhood in the area of this house.

WHITFIELD: And Susan, that is tape you are looking at.

CANDIOTTI: Yes, that is a tape replay of what occurred earlier.

WHITFIELD: OK, go ahead.

CANDIOTTI: Sure. And this officer had stopped in his car to ask for directions. We are told by police that someone -- that appears to be a suspect who is being led away now in the upper portion of your screen. At any rate -- and he was handcuffed.

Stopped to ask for directions, a suspect leaned into his car. A struggle ensued over a gun. The corrections officer was shot in the stomach, and the suspect got away. The corrections officer was able to drive himself to a nearby gas station and get help. He's currently under treatment. And yes, we are told by the police spokesperson for Miami that the suspect is now in custody.

WHITFIELD: OK. And we're looking at live pictures right now, what appear to be sharpshooters that are still at attention and at the ready at an apartment complex presumably very close to the home, where the children and the woman, as well as the suspect were once holed up.

CANDIOTTI: Yes, that would appear to be the case here. And of course, I am sure that they are trying to make sure that everyone who might have been involved in this is now in custody and there is no one else remaining. But the police obviously are now taking statements from the children who were brought out of that home at this time.

Clearly, they're in good enough shape to be able to do that, though clearly, they must be shaken up and frightened after what happened to them. But again, we don't know for sure whether there was anyone else inside the house at this time.

We do have confirmed, to recap here, that a suspect has now been brought out of the house. He was handcuffed by the police, and he is now in custody.

WHITFIELD: All right, Susan Candiotti, thank you very much, joining us on the telephone from the Miami area. Some very tense moments for that Coconut Grove community there.

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