NEWPORT, VT – Police from numerous agencies surrounded an area on the west side of Newport City in response to reports of an armed gunman who may have held members of his family hostage. A standoff, which began before 6 a.m., ended around 11:30 when the suspect was taken into custody.
A witness contacted the newspaper to report that a gunman had been seen in the woods near Highland Avenue. All residents in the Highland Avenue area, including West Main and Pleasant Street, have been asked to evacuate.
The gunman is believed to be Derick Niles, in his late 30s, father of nine, but his identity has not been officially confirmed. There are no official reports on what led to the incident.
According to original reports, Niles had taken 11 hostages who were later released and he may have been cornered on a rooftop. There were also reports of a teenage boy with a rifle behind the house who was also taken into custody.
The incident began between 5:30 and 6 a.m. Around 10 a.m., the children reportedly escaped through a window of the home. The police also took the suspect's wife into protective custody.
The suspect was taken to North Country Hospital for evaluation.