Suspect in 30-hour hostage standoff made incriminating statement, detective testified

Donald Gazaway in court for pre-trial hearing Wed.
Suspect in 30-hour hostage standoff made incriminating statement, detective testified
Posted at 3:58 PM, Jan 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-17 15:58:59-05

HAMILTON, Ohio -- More details unfolded during a pre-trial hearing Wednesday for the man police say held a child hostage for 30 hours in a Liberty Township apartment over the weekend.

For one, the mother of the 10-year-old held hostage in the standoff was pistol whipped, according to Det. Joe Nerlinger from the Butler County Sheriff's Office.

Nerlinger also elaborated on the boy's cries for help, a request from the prosecutor asking if the boy was definitely held against his will.

"He was screaming, crying, 'let me go, let me go,'" Nerlinger said. "You definitely wondered what was going to happen to that child. A long toll is going to be taken on a young child."

Nerlinger said the boy was physically unharmed.

"Adults, we all make decisions to get into certain situations. That kid had no choice in this," he said. "We were all scared for him, scared that this guy was going to start firing. We didn’t know what he was thinking or what he was going to do. We were pretty ecstatic when he came out and the child was unharmed."

Gazaway is accused of pulling a gun at the boy's residence on East Hamilton Place, demanding thousands of dollars from the female resident, firing dozens of shots at deputies and police and using the boy as a human shield before surrendering Sunday morning, the Journal-News reported.

Nerlinger said the standoff began as an "altercation" that led to the boy's mother calling police.

"Ultimately, mother fled the house and dialed 911 from a neighbors house," Nerlinger said.

On Tuesday, Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said he didn't think the boy's mother's testimony "smelled right."

"They said they were scared, he had a gun," Jones said on 700 WLW. "I don't know many mothers, if any at all, that would leave their 10-year-old son, or daughter, in the house with some guy that's holding their son or daughter with a gun."

Gazaway is charged with one count of kidnapping and one count of felonious assault.