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Police Sniper Kills Man Holding 2 Teen Hostages

December 30, 1985|Associated Press

NEWPORT, Ky. — A police sniper today killed a gunman who had claimed to be a drug-crazed killer and held two teen-agers more than 30 hours, demanding $50,000 and plane tickets to England. The hostages were freed unharmed.

Dennis Lucas, 20, of Dayton, Ky., was killed by a state police officer after one hostage was removed by police and officials decided that the second youth was in "certain, imminent danger," State Police Capt. Dale Fortner said.

Moments before the end of the siege, a woman and her two preschool children were evacuated from an upstairs apartment.

Armed With Rifles

Officers armed with rifles had also begun closing in on the building, in a neighborhood of crowded row houses and small storefronts.

No details were immediately available on how hostage Bobby Wardlow, 14, was removed from the building. Fortner said officials moved in after becoming concerned that the life of the remaining hostage, 16-year-old Larkin Wardlow, Bobby's brother, was in danger.

Police had said that Lucas was an acquaintance of the boys but that officials didn't know why he took them hostage.

Lucas seized the two boys about 5 a.m. Sunday in this northern Kentucky community across the Ohio River from Cincinnati. He fired shots out a window several times with a handgun during the day and night.

Boasts of 2 Killings

The gunman apparently called Cincinnati radio station WLW-AM Sunday afternoon and boasted of killing two people recently.

He said one of the bodies could be found in a wooded area in nearby Cincinnati across the Ohio River from Newport and that the other could be found in the Licking River near Newport.

The caller said he was "a big heroin addict. I'm a big addict. But my mind is just sick because prison makes your mind sick."

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