Here’s an snap shot of what went down today in Jefferson City, about two blocks from my office (via KRCG):
10:20 a.m. Hostage situation reported
Police in Jefferson City have shut down eight city blocks because of a possible hostage situation at a downtown office building.
Jefferson City Police received an alarm message about a hostage situation but say they have not been able to confirm it.
Jefferson City Police along with Capitol Police, Highway Patrol, and the Sheriff’s Department have surrounded the Governor Office Building at 200 Madison Street.
A person working in the 5th floor of the building reports that it is a hostage situation.
KRCG’s crew at the scene reports that nearby businesses are in lock down mode as police try to assess the situation.
Stay tuned to KRCG for the latest.
This has been a bad week for crazed lone gunmen. I pray this ends well. And soon, because our building is on lock down as a precaution and I have an interview for a story at 11:30.
10:46 a.m. Hostage negotiators at office building
Hostage negotiators are on scene in Jefferson City after police received an alarm of a hostage situation. Police say it was an automatic alarm and that they have not been able to confirm it.
Jefferson City Police say that, contrary to initial reports, they cannot confirm that any shots have been fired.
KRCG’s crew at the scene report that the SWAT team in on scene and that sharp shooters have been positioned on nearby rooftops.
The Governor Office Building is a 10-story office building on Madison Street. The building houses such government offices as the Public Service Commission and the Office of Public Counsel.
A person inside the office building reports that they are in lockdown and that they are police inside the building.
People are Tweeting from the building and it’s getting picked up by the local media. This person was particularly cavalier about the whole thing: “Enough firepower outside to invade a small country. I sure hope somebody is recording this in HD.”
11:44 a.m. SWAT Team searching building
Police are doing a floor by floor sweep and evacuation. Employees have been told to stay locked in until told otherwise.
The alarm was triggered on the fifth floor at 10:02 a.m.
KRCG has talked with a person inside the Governor Office Building. He says someone over the intercom instructed everyone to stay in their offices.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon does not have an office at this building. The Governor Office Building used to be a hotel called the “Governor Hotel” when it was renovated into an office building it retained its moniker.
The building houses the Missouri Office of Prosecution Services, Public Service Commission, Office of Public Counsel and the Missouri Development Finance Board.
OK, so we’re not on an official lock down here at our building, so I’m taking that as permission to go to my interview.
1:02 p.m. Police evacuating state employees
Police are slowly evacuating a downtown Jefferson City office building after a call came in reporting a hostage situation.
Police are escorting small groups of people from Governor Office Building. They are then being taken into nearby Madison’s Cafe where they are giving statements to police.
There is no confirmation of shots fired or hostages taken.
A woman called the alarm company Sonitrol, which called JCPD. It was not a automated alarm as reported earlier.
Police have identified the woman, but have not elaborated. Police will not say if they have talked with the woman who called the alarm company.
Sonitrol is the company that secures our building. Remind me to never forget to code in.
2:12 p.m. Police re-opening streets
Jefferson City Police are preparing to reopen downtown streets after finishing a search of the Governor Office Building.
That search revealed no hostage situation.
KRCG News has exclusive details of the situation that led to police being called to the building.
Dan Joyce, administrative director of the Public Service Commission, said that a PSC employee on the 5th floor thought she heard an announcement stating that there was a hostage situation. A supervisor was notified who called Sonitrol, the building’s alarm/surveillance company, to find out if they made the announcement over the PA system. Joyce said the supervisor was simply inquiring of Sonitrol if they knew of any such situation and that it was Sonitrol who decided to call Jefferson City Police. Joyce said the employee did not see any hostage situation, only that she overheard some sort of an announcement.
Yeah, it’s easy to joke when looking back you know it’s a false alarm. Still, 10 points to Jefferson City Police and the other agencies (I’m sure my boy Sheriff White was involved) for their quick and thorough response. Jeff City has had a rough few weeks (I’m counting three murders and four armed robberies… that’s a lot for a town of 40,000). Add that to the tragedies in Florida and Ft. Hood, it’s good to see a happy ending now and then.