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Possible hostage standoff snarls traffic along U.S. Highway 190

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Posted: Monday, June 25, 2012 12:00 pm

By Chris McGuinness

Killeen Daily Herald

Local law enforcement responded to what they believed was a standoff with an unknown gunman Sunday morning, grinding traffic along U.S. Highway 190 and Central Texas Expressway to a halt.

The incident, which lasted more than 2½ hours, began at 8:35 a.m. when the Killeen Police Department received a call about a potential hostage situation at the O'Reilly Auto Parts store, 1703 E. Central Texas Expressway, next to the Yank Sing Chinese food buffet.

Carroll Smith, KPD spokesperson, said two employees were opening the store for business when they were accosted by the gunman, who forced both employees inside the store.

At some point, Smith said, both men were able to escape from the gunman unharmed. Minutes after the 911 calls were made, the department responded along with its Tactical Response unit, which attempted to communicate with the gunman inside the store.

About 11 a.m. law enforcement entered the building and found out the gunman was no longer there. Smith said police believe the gunman escaped in the two to three minutes between when the 911 calls were made and when the first units arrived on the scene.

During the ordeal, law enforcement officials shut down east and westbound traffic on the highway, the expressway and Grandon Drive. All closed roads were reopened to traffic shortly after law enforcement cleared the building.

As of noon Sunday, police did not know the identity of the gunman. He was described as a 6-foot-3-inch, 250-pound black male wearing a gray or blue hoodie and a covering over his face.

Contact Chris McGuinness at chrism@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.

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