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Hostage Situation Ends; Gunman Dead

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As reported by

Hostage Situation Ends; Gunman Dead

osted Apr 12, 2007 by Howard Altman
Updated Apr 13, 2007 at 01:37 PM

Members of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and
Tampa Police SWAT teams leave after the standoff.
Tribune photo by Jay Conner

Photos | Video: Sheriff Gee Interview | News Channel 8 Video | Comment

The Tampa Tribune

TAMPA - A 10-hour hostage situation at a shooting range came to an end about 3 a.m. when Jeffrey Lane Dudney, 42, killed himself. Dale Mabry Highway, which was closed during the tense standoff, was reopened for the morning commute.

Five people taken hostage were released safely said Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee said at a 3:30 a.m. press conference.

The hostages included at least two shooting range employees: Mark Little, 57, of Tampa, and Margaret Flesche, 64, of Tampa. John Murray, 33, of Seffner, and Timothy J. Bechard, 22, were released earlier in the evening. The fifth hostage was William “Chris” Perez, 24, of Tampa.

Dudney, who had been arrested just a few weeks ago by Tampa Police on attempted murder charges, entered Shooting Sports Inc, 7811 N. Dale Mabry, to obtain a gun so he could run from those charges, Gee said. Dudney, he said, was “irrational.”

Earlier in the evening, two of the five hostages escaped. The other three were able to flee once Dudney killed himself, Gee said.

Deputies were in constant contact by phone with Dudney, who was making a number of demands, including wanting medication and, at one point, a car to escape. At one point, deputies delivered medication via a robot, Gee said. The sheriff would not say what type of medication Dudney requested.

Jeffrey Lane Dudney/HCSO image

Gee said that there were three customers and two employees taken hostage.

Two others in the store were able to flee before being taken hostage, the sheriff said.

There were four men and one woman taken hostage, Gee said.

The woman was a manager and owner of the business, Gee said.

During the standoff, television stations were asked by the sheriff’s office not to give details of the situation.

The reason, said Gee, was the volatile nature of the unfolding events.

“Every two or three minutes he was threatening to shoot people, one by one Gee said. “He was very agitated, very amped up.”

Dudney, said Gee, “came to door several times with a gun to the head of some of hostages.

“Every time we would talk to him, he would bring hostages to door. Some he would throw to the floor, others he used as a shield.”

The gunman often said he was contemplating suicide, Gee said.

Adding to the difficulty was the fact that the shooting range was “basically a fortress,” Gee said.

“Doors were welded shut,” he said. “From a tactical viewpoint, it was a most difficult situation.”

The windows were tinted, Gee said, meaning Dudney “could see out and we could not see in.”

Dudney was out on bail after a hit-and-run incident in which he fired shots at witnesses.

Previous Report: Police Find Man, Gun Sought In Shooting

On March 31, Dudney, was driving a Dodge Dakota pickup and struck a Chevrolet pickup at South Dale Mabry Highway and Bay to Bay Boulevard, police said.

Dudney drove away without stopping, according to an arrest report.

The other driver followed Dudney, and they pulled over on Ysabella Avenue.

The Chevrolet driver got out to talk to Dudney, who pulled out a .40-caliber handgun and pointed it at him, police said.

The driver got back in the Chevrolet, and as he drove away, Dudney fired a shot into the rear window, police said.

The driver and one of his two passengers were cut by glass.

During the incident they noted Dudney’s tag number, which police used to identify and track him.

Bail had been set at $150,500. It is unclear at this time how he was able to post that or if it was reduced.

The story can be found at;

- Janq
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brucelee said:
The dude looked like a fat version of Johnny Knoxville!
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