A 30-hour standoff that involved a 10-year-old boy being held against his will at an apartment complex in Liberty Twp. began with the door being opened for the suspect.
Donald Tobias Gazaway, 31, was let into the apartment late Friday night by residents of the apartment in the 700 block of East Hamilton Place, according to Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones.
“This was not a home invasion, this was a ‘come on in,’” Jones told this news organization today.
Once inside, Gazaway demanded cash, according to what the boy’s mother told officials.
“He demanded thousands,” Jones said.
According to the mother, she did not have that kind of money.
“There was an argument and she said he pulled out a gun,” Jones said.
Jones said statements from the mother about how she knew Gazaway are conflicting.
“She said (she knew him a) couple weeks and that he was a friend of the family,” Jones said.
But there is evidence Gazaway had stayed at the residence before.
“He pulled the gun and it appeared it was every man and women for themselves, except the child,” Jones said.
Gazaway remained in the residence with the boy until a police vehicle drove up to the door. Then he took the boy and fled to a car in the garage, where he remained until surrendering Sunday morning.
During the standoff, Gazaway raised the garage door up and down and turned the car lights on and off.
“And occasionally he shot at us,” Sheriff said.
About 20 shots were reported fired during the incident.
Jones said the mother was at the scene during most of the incident, “in an area sleeping with a blanket over her.”
The sheriff’s office will be recommending Butler County Children Services open a case concerning the family.
The boy was returned to his mother and taken to the hospital to be checked out. He is reportedly doing well, according to Jones.
Immediately after securing the boy, he was taken to a safe place and kept warm by deputies, who provided a coat and doughnuts.
An official at the scene described the boy as wearing “Snoopy” pajamas during the ordeal and being very interested in the box of doughnuts they provided, eating them as fast as he could.
Gazaway just got out of prison in July after serving four years for felonious assault in Hamilton County. He shot a gun into a crowd of 30 people at a party, according to court documents