A dramatic hostage standoff in Trenton, New Jersey ended in violence early Sunday morning, after officers shot and killed suspect Gerald Tyrone Murphy, who had refused to cooperate with negotiators.
Murphy had held police at bay for a total of 37 hours, after police responded to a call about the welfare of the now-deceased Carmenlita Stevens, who hadn't been seen for some time — and were confronted with a deathly odor and a hostile Murphy, who had been dating Stevens.
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After police shot and killed Murphy, they found the body of Stevens and her 13-year-old son, who may have been murdered as early as April 24 by the suspect, who was a convicted felon, according to the Inquirer.
Three of Stevens children — aged 18, 16, and 4 — were rescued and taken to a medical center for treatment, according to USA Today, while a 19 year old son was rescued from the basement, where he had been hiding for weeks.
Murphy was not the father of any the children, and Philly.com reported that the teenage girls had been "abused and assaulted" as he held them captive.
Murphy was shot as he threatened one of the children with a gun, and later died in the hospital from his injuries. Sixty state troopers and a hostage negotiation team had responded to the incident.
"This was a very complex matter, considering the space (where the hostages were) and that three children were involved," said New Jersey state police colonel Rick Fuentes of the situation, according to the Associated Press. "Our mission over those 37 hours was to save innocent lives."