New Jersey hostage standoff ends with suspect’s death

A SWAT police officer stands guard near the suspect's house.
A SWAT police officer stands guard near the suspect’s house.

A tense weekend standoff in a South Trenton, N. J., neighborhood ended early Sunday with a hostage-taker dead and three children rescued, authorities said.

Police shot Gerald Tyrone Murphy, ending the 37-hour standoff and saving the lives of three unidentified children he had held hostage, New Jersey State Police Colonel Rick Fuentes said at a news conference Sunday morning.

Murphy, 38, a convicted sex offender, died of a gunshot wound shortly after the situation ended, Fuentes said.

The partially decomposed bodies of Carmelita Stevens, 44, believed to be Murphy’s girlfriend, and her 13-year-old son were discovered in the two-story home, authorities said.

Murphy had barricaded himself inside the house in the New Jersey state capital Friday afternoon after police were called to do a wellness check on a resident at the address, a Trenton police spokesman said Friday.

On Saturday, the Times of Trenton cited two unidentified law enforcement sources as saying police checking on the house had discovered the partially decomposed body of a woman, but pulled back when they saw he had a gun.

Authorities at Sunday’s press conference said that during hostage negotiations, Murphy told them that he had a handgun and explosives. Officials declined to say whether any explosives had yet been recovered from the home.

The newspaper also identified Stevens as the mother of the three children, ages 18, 16 and 4, Murphy took as hostages. A fifth child of Stevens, age 19, was reportedly safe at another location with relatives. Police said Murphy was not the father of any of the children.

Fuentes said hostage negotiators had maintained contact with Murphy throughout the ordeal, passing food and water through an upper window. Residents on the surrounding block were evacuated during the ordeal as a precaution.

Around 3:45 a.m. Sunday, a SWAT team stormed the home, moved to the second floor and confronted Murphy, firing a single shot to prevent further harm to the children, Fuentes said.

Murphy had an extensive criminal record, including previous arrests for robbery, a weapons offense and child endangerment, according to Mercer County prosecutor Joseph Boccini Jr. An arrest warrant had been issued in Pennsylvania for Murphy after he failed to register there as a convicted sex offender.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…