Liberty Township standoff ends, 10-year-old boy is safe, Sheriff says

LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio — A 30- hour standoff in Liberty Township has now ended, the Butler County Sheriff’s Office said.

Authorities said a 10-year-old was taken hostage, and is now safe. The suspect is in custody.

Police have identified the suspect as Donald Gazaway, 31. He is now facing charges of kidnapping, felonious assault, and inducing panic.

Donald Gazaway

The situation began around 1 a.m. at the Springs at Liberty Township apartments in the 7100 block of West Liberty Drive. Officials said there was some sort of altercation inside an apartment.

Everyone fled, but a man who does not live in the apartment stayed behind, barricaded himself and kept a 10-year-old boy as a hostage, Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said.

Police said the man is not related to the child.

Authorities said the man fired nearly 20 shots at police, but no one was hit. Officials said their robot, along with an armored vehicle was hit by gunfire.

Tony Cole lives at the complex and told WLWT he woke up to gunshots Saturday morning.

“Very scared for the boy. I hope this resolves itself in a pleasant manner for all parties,” Cole said.

Several nearby residents were asked to leave their apartments and townhomes for safety, but the majority of the people who live in the complex were able to come and go freely as the situation went on.

Hamilton and West Chester SWAT arrived on the scene around 8 p.m. Saturday to help relieve crews that have been on scene about 1 a.m. Jones said authorities did the shift change to give fatigued officers the chance to be replaced and work through the night to resolve this situation safely. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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