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Man Shoots Self After Holding Girl Hostage

January 18, 1986

CINCINNATI (AP) _ A murder suspect took a 4-year-old girl hostage Friday and barricaded himself in an apartment before shooting himself in the head without harming the girl, police said.

Police identified the gunman as Mark Lindsay Jones, 25. Police Chief Lawrence Whalen described Jones as ″not in very good condition″ after the shooting.

A spokeswoman at University Hospital, where Jones was taken, said Jones was still alive but would not give his condition.

Crowds of onlookers applauded as an armed officer emerged from an apartment building holding the girl, identified as Cassandra Oden, about 10 minutes after Jones shot himself.

″The young lady was grabbed by members of SWAT, and she is apparently in excellent condition,″ Whalen said.

He said police had been negotiating with Jones for about an hour before the shooting and believed they were making progress in their attempts to persuade him to surrender.

″He was very rational, very aware of the circumstances,″ Whalen said of Jones. ″He was aware that he had several options. Of course, the negotiator was stressing the option of throwing the gun out of the window and coming out.

″We were in the process of moving officers back and realigning them when they heard the shot,″ he said. ″They feared for the safety of the hostage, so they kicked the door in.″

Police said Jones was being sought in the Jan. 2 shooting death of a Cincinnati woman, Piper Campbell, 22.

Jones, armed with a long-barreled revolver, barricaded himself in an apartment with the little girl early Friday afternoon. The child’s mother, Sherri Oden, was not in the apartment at the time.

″He fired a shot, threw out some bullets and said, ’I’ve got plenty of ammunition,‴ said Edward Ammann, assistant police chief.

Ammann said police had been trying to serve Jones an arrest warrant charging him with aggravated murder. A maintenance man at the housing complex told police that Jones had been staying at the apartment with Cassandra’s mother, police officer Tom Kellison said.

Police cordoned off surrounding streets and kept reporters and photographers back from the area, saying they risked getting shot.