Neighbor recounts hostage standoff as he set up son’s birthday party in Independence

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NOTE: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the hostage had a gun. This has been changed.

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — A disturbance call turned into a police standoff when a suspect pulled a gun on police.

Officers responded to a disturbance call on Kendall Drive, according to a statement from the Independence Police Department. An armed adult female barricaded herself and a hostage inside the home.

A neighbor described the scene as “unbelievable.”

“We heard the police loud speakers tell someone to come out with their hands in the air, so that’s when we kind of realized something was definitely going on,” neighbor Sam Kraemer said.

Kraemer said he was setting up a tent for his son’s birthday party. That’s when SWAT and tactical crews arrived.

“As I was getting the tent set up, as you can see, a lot of the cop cars showed up and blocked the birthday tent off,” Kraemer said.

Police surrounded the house and began negotiations with the woman. Officers finally went inside, arrested her, and freed the person she was keeping.

Neighbors praised the police department for the peaceful resolution.

“You know our number one concern is the safety of those inside,” Public Information Officer John Syme said. “The victim safety, the suspect safety and of course everyone here in the neighborhood.

Independence police have not released suspect or hostage information.

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