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: 245847

Reported Deaths: 5356
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto16717168
Hinds15748310
Harrison12806188
Rankin10334204
Jackson9996172
Lee8666135
Madison7994158
Jones6112108
Forrest5826117
Lauderdale5672174
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Lamar471162
Washington4700122
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Monroe3463101
Union334755
Warren334692
Marshall333264
Neshoba3310149
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Tate264759
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Pike254876
Hancock246957
Prentiss240047
Scott238743
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Yazoo235054
Tippah233845
Simpson230166
Leake226764
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Grenada213970
Covington207171
Marion203371
Adams200065
Winston196260
George195937
Wayne193029
Attala190958
Newton185142
Chickasaw179943
Tishomingo179059
Holmes167467
Jasper163533
Clay155632
Stone138818
Tallahatchie137033
Clarke135160
Calhoun132021
Smith117322
Yalobusha112534
Walthall110536
Noxubee108922
Greene108229
Montgomery107134
Carroll102320
Lawrence99817
Perry98631
Amite95725
Webster90024
Claiborne84125
Tunica84021
Jefferson Davis82925
Humphreys80324
Benton79722
Kemper75620
Quitman6678
Franklin64613
Choctaw59412
Wilkinson57424
Jefferson52019
Sharkey42317
Issaquena1576
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 414583

Reported Deaths: 5945
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson60842887
Mobile29590538
Madison26466183
Tuscaloosa20537267
Montgomery18562304
Shelby18181112
Baldwin15841177
Lee1212097
Morgan12002112
Etowah11488142
Calhoun10863197
Marshall10048106
Houston8405123
Cullman792294
Limestone785073
Elmore7670101
DeKalb757282
St. Clair7417120
Lauderdale740282
Talladega6036108
Walker5834176
Jackson571937
Colbert522270
Blount521980
Autauga507555
Coffee431456
Dale388278
Franklin362145
Chilton332965
Covington325567
Russell318910
Escambia309842
Dallas297988
Chambers275769
Clarke272933
Tallapoosa2591107
Pike245829
Lawrence239345
Marion238649
Winston222535
Bibb211347
Geneva196331
Marengo196329
Pickens195331
Hale172542
Barbour169636
Butler166958
Fayette164026
Cherokee158330
Henry149219
Monroe143617
Randolph137635
Washington135426
Clay124446
Crenshaw117444
Lamar116819
Cleburne115123
Macon111935
Lowndes107935
Wilcox99921
Bullock97128
Perry95019
Conecuh92820
Sumter89126
Greene75123
Coosa59814
Choctaw50824
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