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UPDATE: Itawamba County hostage standoff is over

Itawamba County Sheriff Chris Dickinson says the 10-year-old girl who was held hostage is okay and the man who was holding her is dead.

Posted: Dec 29, 2018 2:30 PM
Updated: Jan 2, 2019 2:53 PM

10:24 p.m

ITAWAMBA COUNTY, Miss. (WTVA) - Itawamba County Sheriff Chris Dickinson says the 10-year-old girl who was held hostage at a home this weekend is okay and the man who was holding her is dead.

Law enforcement officer at hostage standoff in northeast Itawamba County (Evan Hensley)

Law enforcement responding to a hostage standoff in Itawamba County Saturday (Evan Hensley)

According to the sheriff, the Mississippi Highway Patrol SWAT team entered the home after 9 p.m. Sunday, bringing to an end a 32-hour standoff.

"We were able to get her out safe," Dickinson told WTVA's Gracyn Ashmore live on WTVA 9 News at 10:00 shortly after the standoff ended. "She's smiling."

Dickinson adds the girl probably saved the lives of two of his sheriff's deputies.  He says she called 911 Saturday and warned the dispatcher not to allow deputies to come to the door because the man, Nathan Shepard, was waiting for them.

It turns out the girl's father, Paul Blackburn, was dead when deputies first arrived, and the sheriff says Shepard was trying to hide that from the girl. However, she found out and got upset.

The negotiator was able to talk to Shepard and to the girl throughout the ordeal.

"As long as we were talking, there was hope.  So we were going to just stay with it as long as it took," said Dickinson.

The sheriff says Shepard made a mistake, which led the SWAT team to make its move on the home.  He did not say what that mistake was.

On Dec. 31, the sheriff spoke with WTVA's Wayne Hereford and provided some details about the mistake Shepard made.

VIDEO: Itawamba County sheriff talks about the weekend standoff

7:59 p.m.

ITAWAMBA COUNTY, Miss. (WTVA) - Multiple law enforcement agencies are still on the scene of a hostage standoff in Itawamba County.

Itawamba County Sheriff Chris Dickinson reassures the public that officials are doing their best to work in the best interest of the child.

“As long as the talks are positive, and it feels like we’re making some progress, we’re gonna keep on talking. We’ve got a child in there,” he said.

As of this update, WTVA’s Gracyn Ashmore remains at the scene. She will report any updates as they become available.

Sunday 11:35 a.m.

ITAWAMBA COUNTY, Miss. (WTVA) - Officers are still working nearly 24 hours later to peacefully resolve a hostage standoff in northeast Itawamba County.

Law enforcement got a call around 1 p.m. Saturday of two men holding a 10-year-old girl inside a home on Alice Hall Road a couple of miles west of Red Bay, Alabama.

Itawamba County Sheriff Chris Dickinson says officers later found out only one person is holding the girl hostage.  It's not clear what the status is of the other man.

Officers with multiple agencies from Mississippi and Alabama could be seen outside the home Sunday morning.

The sheriff said they have been in contact with the man and the girl since the standoff began.

Look for updates on WTVA 9 News, WTVA.com and the WTVA 9 News app.

Original story below

GOLDEN, Miss. (WTVA) -- Law enforcement agencies are involved in a standoff in Itawamba County.

Sheriff Chris Dickinson says they initially received a report of two men holding a 10-year-old girl inside a home on Alice Hall Road in the northern part of the county.

He says they were told both men were armed.

Once they arrived at the scene Sheriff Dickinson says it was discovered only one person is holding the girl hostage, and the condition of the other man is unknown.

Dickinson says they are trying to talk the man into coming out of the home. He says they have been in contact with the girl as well.

The Mississippi Highway Patrol SWAT team has also been called to the scene.

Dickinson says they are not sure why the man is holding the girl hostage.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 484675

Reported Deaths: 9480
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison33151493
Hinds31184589
DeSoto30803365
Jackson23735349
Rankin21390373
Lee14963221
Madison14206272
Jones13430227
Forrest13199241
Lauderdale11623307
Lowndes10501176
Lamar10258130
Pearl River9151221
Lafayette8268137
Hancock7534113
Washington7144152
Oktibbeha6989124
Monroe6533167
Neshoba6489201
Warren6486166
Pontotoc632993
Panola6278127
Marshall6165126
Bolivar6129145
Union576089
Pike5626138
Alcorn540590
Lincoln5310132
George473572
Scott461596
Leflore4495140
Tippah448180
Prentiss447979
Itawamba4457100
Adams4429117
Tate4420103
Wayne434667
Simpson4339114
Copiah432988
Yazoo423686
Covington417192
Sunflower4155104
Marion4111104
Coahoma3986100
Leake398286
Newton372375
Grenada3565104
Stone351360
Tishomingo338389
Attala325987
Jasper316062
Winston305691
Clay297374
Chickasaw287866
Clarke283290
Calhoun267741
Holmes262887
Smith252249
Yalobusha224347
Tallahatchie221150
Walthall211758
Greene209945
Lawrence207034
Perry201054
Amite199452
Webster196942
Noxubee179339
Montgomery172954
Jefferson Davis168342
Carroll162537
Tunica154235
Benton143035
Kemper138840
Choctaw128826
Claiborne127134
Humphreys127038
Franklin116928
Quitman104227
Wilkinson102036
Jefferson91533
Sharkey63020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 790648

Reported Deaths: 14025
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1117431765
Mobile709021237
Madison50032633
Shelby36350315
Baldwin36278495
Tuscaloosa34034548
Montgomery33229678
Lee22712220
Calhoun21297410
Morgan19852335
Etowah19341462
Marshall17716274
Houston16862386
St. Clair15479305
Cullman14659258
Limestone14609188
Elmore14507264
Lauderdale13557281
Talladega13015236
DeKalb12214237
Walker10604330
Blount9735157
Autauga9691137
Jackson9400158
Coffee8934175
Dale8631173
Colbert8545184
Tallapoosa6688181
Escambia6599121
Covington6466167
Chilton6395144
Russell608755
Franklin5805101
Chambers5425134
Marion4818120
Dallas4713189
Clarke464079
Pike463297
Geneva4433117
Winston427395
Lawrence4124108
Bibb410281
Barbour347470
Marengo326485
Monroe320253
Butler318490
Randolph306656
Pickens306474
Henry302658
Hale293085
Cherokee290855
Fayette280373
Washington245548
Crenshaw238770
Cleburne236751
Clay229265
Macon220658
Lamar200443
Conecuh182046
Coosa170835
Lowndes170858
Wilcox159736
Bullock149543
Perry136537
Sumter124736
Greene121443
Choctaw73427
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