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Police: Suspect, 2-year-old child dead after standoff | News

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Police: Suspect, 2-year-old child dead after standoff

BUFORD, Ga. -- Authorities said a man fatally shot a 2-year-old child and himself after a nearly 20-hour standoff in Gwinnett County. 

Gwinnett Police and SWAT teams from Gwinnett and DeKalb had been on the scene of the hostage standoff on Beyers Landing Drive since the night before. 

Police said the incident began when the suspect got into argument with his live-in girlfriend, who is the child's mother. The woman instructed another son, who is not the child of the suspect, to call 911. 

According to police, the teenage son called 911 around 10 p.m. Tuesday and told dispatchers a man was threatening to kill everyone inside. The teenager was able to leave the home safely, and the mother was able to leave later, but the 2-year-old remained inside.

SWAT team members had been inside the house for several hours, but didn't enter the master bedroom -- where the suspect and child were -- until hearing the shots fired, a police spokesperson said.

Police said around 4:40 p.m., they heard the shots fired and entered the room. Once the officers were inside, they said the suspect shot himself. The officer quickly noticed that the baby had been shot. 

Photos from the crime scene

The child was taken by helicopter to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, where he later died. The suspect, identified as Thy Anh Ho, died at Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville.

Police said the boy, identified as Phillip Nguyen, is believed to be the suspect's son.

Police said there had been some dialogue with the suspect before the gunshots were heard. Prior to that, police said they had no indication that the child was in any distress, and they were not sure if he had been harmed before the shooting.

The suspect, 43-year-old Thy Anh Ho, is accused of holding a woman and her small child hostage and threatening to shoot them. He had warrants for his arrest and is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.  In the warrant obtained by 11Alive News, Ho is accused of pointing a gun at the  2-year-old boy's chest and saying, "I'd rather end his life than let you care for him without me."  The warrant says Ho then threatened to kill everyone in the room. 

In 1998, Ho was charged with criminal confinement for holding children inside during a home invasion. In 2012, he was convicted of theft by receiving stolen property in Gwinnett County and sentenced to eight years probation, two years confinement (time served) and a $2,700 fine.

Photos | Man accused of holding 2-year-old hostage

Witnesses reported seeing heavy police activity in the area of Beyers Landing Drive in Buford Tuesday night.

"My dogs started going crazy like they've never done before," said witness and neighbor Roy Groshek, who watched the incident unfold. "I came downstairs to see what was going on and there was a light shining in the window, and it was the police."

Groshek has lived next door to the location for the past five years and told 11Alive the neighborhood is a diverse community and usually quiet. But tonight, he said as many as eight patrol cars and three SWAT tanks were on the scene as police blared sirens and called for the gunman to come out of the house. 

Police have the community blocked off but have not evacuated residents. No one can leave nor enter the community, including students needing to go to school. 

Gwinnett County records show Ho is the owner of the home at the center of the standoff. 

Stay with 11Alive as this story develops. Click refresh often for updated information.





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