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"Distraught" Man Barricades Himself In Texas Hospital, Prompts Massive Police Response

Police initially reported that the man had taken hostages at the Tomball Regional Medical Center. Later, however, police said the confrontation did not involve hostages.

Originally posted on
Updated on

A man who reportedly was distraught over the condition of his son prompted evacuations and reports of a hostage situation at a Texas hospital near Houston Saturday night.

Tomball Police Detective Jimmy Harral told reporters Saturday night that the situation began when a man barricaded himself inside the Tomball Regional Medical Center before 8 p.m. CT. The Harris County Sheriff's Department, which was also on scene, reported that the man was distraught over his son's medical condition.

Police spent several hours negotiating with the man before he finally surrendered without incident sometime before 10:45 p.m. Harral initially said the man might be armed, but after he surrendered police discovered that he did not have a weapon, the Associated Press reported.

10:46: p.m.: suspect has surrendered without incident. Tomball Regional Medical Center is no longer operating under lock-down procedures.

HCSOTexas@HCSOTexasFollow

10:46: p.m.: suspect has surrendered without incident. Tomball Regional Medical Center is no longer operating under lock-down procedures.

9:02 PM - 10 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Man was NOT armed. He's been taken into custody without further incident. Investigation still ongoing. #hounews

HCSOTexas@HCSOTexasFollow

Man was NOT armed. He's been taken into custody without further incident. Investigation still ongoing. #hounews

9:04 PM - 10 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

Police first described the incident as a hostage situation at the hospital, about 30 minutes outside downtown Houston. The reports of hostages triggered a massive police response and a dispatcher at the hospital told BuzzFeed News that the facility was placed on lockdown.

However, several hours after the confrontation began the Harris County Sheriff's Department issued an update saying "latest information is that this is NOT a hostage situation."

"A man is distraught about his son's medical condition and is currently with him inside the hospital room in the critical care unit," the sheriff's statement added.

The incident did not produce any injuries.

Images from the scene showed numerous police in the area:

Photo: SWAT team gearing up to respond to the hostage situation at a hospital in #Texas (via @AnoushahKPRC) #Tomball

Mabel Gasca@mabelgascaFollow

Photo: SWAT team gearing up to respond to the hostage situation at a hospital in #Texas (via @AnoushahKPRC) #Tomball

6:23 PM - 10 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

Just spoke to husband of a nurse hiding in a closet at Tomball Regional Medical Center.

Tim Wetzel@KHOUTimFollow

Just spoke to husband of a nurse hiding in a closet at Tomball Regional Medical Center.

7:04 PM - 10 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

Two people are being held hostage at Tomball Regional Medical Center in Tomball, Texas – @NewsBell

Worldwide Actions@AlwaysActionsFollow

Two people are being held hostage at Tomball Regional Medical Center in Tomball, Texas – @NewsBell

6:22 PM - 10 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

This is a developing story. Check back later and follow @BuzzFeedNews on Twitter for updates.

Jim Dalrymple is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Jim Dalrymple II at jim.dalrymple@buzzfeed.com.

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