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Hostage Standoff Ends With Gunfire
--Update 3pm Friday---
Mitchell County Sheriff Donald Street
tells News 13 John Daniel Hampton Jr. remains in Mission Hospital with his mouth wired shut and a gunshot beneath his eye socket. Sheriff Street says Hampton is communicating with police by writing notes. Street also says Hampton apologized to deputies as they took him from
the trailer in Spruce Pine in Mitchell County where one deputy shot Hampton to end the hostage stand-off. Hampton is now on 24-7 watch with police presence by his
hospital room. Sheriff Street tells News 13 the woman he was with has at least one warrant out for her arrest in Unicoi County Tennessee where she and Hampton are from.
Neighbor Esperanza Reyez shot video of 32-year-old suspect John Daniel Hampton Jr. being loaded into the back of an ambulance. He was then air-lifted to Mission Hospital in Asheville.
Mitchell County Sheriff Donald Street said Hampton held a 23-year-old woman at gunpoint for more than three and a half hours Thursday as deputies tried to negotiate with Hampton to put down the gun. Hampton was apparently running from warrants in both his home state of Tennessee and Virginia where he's wanted for embezzlement.
Mitchell County deputies found him with a stolen car with Tennessee plates on Wagon Master road in Spruce Pine Thursday morning just after eleven. Deputies knocked on the trailer door.
"They found the man back there holding a gun to the hostage's head," said Sheriff Donald Street.. The situation was intense.
"We had a staging situation with him on the bed with the hostage for probably three and a half hours," said Street.
Deputies and the SBI's special response team were inside trying to plead with Hampton to put the gun down. At times he held two guns to the woman's head.
"Finally one of my deputies, he did in some way give my deputy the opportunity, word that he had to shoot the guy. The shot was in the face," said Street.
Hampton had told deputies to let him go. He said he didn't want to go back to prison.
The deputy was about four feet away when he shot Hampton who it appears will survive but will likely be going back to jail on additional charges.
"It's a very intense scene whenever somebody has a gun pointed to an innocent person's head or my deputies have to point their guns at somebody so it was an intense situation," said Street.
By Kimberly King firstname.lastname@example.org