A woman who was held hostage for hours Thursday afternoon and shot at point-blank range was rescued and literally dragged to safety by members of a SWAT team in a dramatic intervention that resulted in the death of the hostage taker.
The rescue of the hostage took place in Redlands, California, and was made all the more surreal by the fact that local media caught the moment on camera. The woman is being identified as 28-year-old Kristin Bauer and authorities have reported that she is currently in critical condition from the gunshot wound she received. The entire scene played out on the sidewalk outside of Bauer’s workplace. The ex-boyfriend, Andrew Mike, allegedly arrived at the Office Depot store and fired multiple gunshots in the parking lot before entering the store and dragging Bauer outside to the sidewalk. Witnesses say that Andrew Mike fired a shot inside the store as well.
The SWAT team managed to make the daring rescue after a two-hour standoff, from 2: 20 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. PST, in which authorities tried, unsuccessfully, to talk the hostage taker down during the time the shooter sat with Bauer on the sidewalk and was on the cellphone with the police. At one point Bauer’s father said he had also received a phone call from his daughter as she herself tried to talk her ex out of taking her hostage.
Gregory Bauer, the victim’s father, said that the deceased suspect was actually a “good kid” and he never saw this out-of-character behavior coming as he was usually a very calm man, adding that something must have “triggered him.” Daily Mail wrote that Mike and Bauer had been dating for several months but she had recently ended the relationship. The phone call to him first came after his daughter and her ex-boyfriend got into an argument when he came to her workplace.
“She told me that he tried to shoot her. I don’t know what that entails. I asked if she called the police and she said yes and that her manager was on the phone with the police… It was like background noise. She kept telling him, ‘You gotta let me go. You gotta let me go,’ and he said, ‘I’m not afraid to die.'”
The phone went dead shortly after.
One of the shots that the gunman fired hit the finger of a passer-by and left him with minor injuries. But it was the gunshot wound to Kristin Bauer’s stomach that forced the SWAT team to abandon their attempt to talk down and negotiate with the woman’s ex-boyfriend and make their daring rescue of her.
Redlands Police Chief Mark Garcia said that the shot that injured Bauer forced officers to open fire on the suspect, killing him on scene. Multiple shots were fired by the authorities, though thankfully none hit the victim. CBS News reported that county officials were unsure of whether or not the suspect fired at the police.
Bauer was airlifted to the hospital following her shooting and rescue. Hospital officials held a news conference in the evening and reported that the victim is in critical condition and has been in and out of surgery in an effort to mend the gunshot wound to the stomach which she received.
[Photo Courtesy of / AP Images]