A violent sex offender fatally shot his 2-year-old son after holding him hostage for more than 18 hours in a home in Gwinnett County, Georgia, police say.
The man, identified as Thy Anh Ho by neighbors, according to WXIA-TV, also died after he shot himself.
The child was rescued from the house by police, but later died at a hospital.
SWAT teams from Gwinnett and DeKalb counties surrounded the home, which is in a subdivision in Buford. The standoff began Tuesday night when a teenager reported his mother and several other people had been taken hostage inside the home, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports. Police said the man holding the hostages was threatening to shoot people. He later released the woman and all the other hostages, except for his son, according to police.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. He Pointed a Gun at His Son & Threatened to ‘End His Life’Police obtained a warrant for Thy Anh Ho’s arrest on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, 11 Alive News reports.
According to the warrant, Ho was accused of pointing a gun at his 2-year-old son’s chest and saying “I’d rather end his life than let you care for him without me.”
He then also threatened to kill everyone in the room, police say.
The 911 call was made at about 10 p.m. Tuesday night. Ho owns the home where he barricaded himself with his son, according to records.
2. His Son Was Rushed to the Hospital But Did Not Survive
Officers rushed the child to the hospital, but he couldn’t be saved. As a precaution, a medical helicopter was brought to the scene at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Police had hoped to resolve the situation peacefully.
“We want to do our best to resolve this situation in a swift but safe manner,” Gwinnett Policde Corporal Deon Washington told reporters. “We don’t want to rush because this is a very sensitive situation, being that a child is involved.”
3. The Suspect Was Convicted of Holding a Child Hostage in 1999
Ho is on the Georgia sex offender list because of a 1999 conviction in Indiana.
According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, he was convicted of criminal confinement for holding children inside during a home invasion, 11 Alive News reports.
4. He Was Also Convicted of Receiving Stolen Property in 2012
According to court records, Ho was convicted of theft by receiving stolen property in 2012 while living in Gwinnett County, Georgia.
He was sentenced to eight years probation, including two years in prison, and given a $2,700 fine.
5. The Neighborhood Was Locked Down During the Standoff
Neighbors in the homes closest to the hostage situation were not allowed to leave, police said. Others in the subdivision were able to leave, but were not being let back to their homes if they did.
“These people are in their homes,” Corporal Deon Washington told reporters. “That’s the safest place for them to be right now. There’s no need for a lot of foot traffic because this situation … can evolve very quickly.”
Police shut down the area around the subdivision. The chaotic situation began Tuesday night.
“My dogs started going crazy like they’ve never done before,” neighbor Roy Groshek told 11 Alive News. “I came downstairs to see what was going on and there was a light shining in the window, and it was the police.”
School buses were not allowed into the neighborhood.