Local News

Man Allegedly Holding Children Hostage

Posted December 31, 1996

— A hostage crisis that began early Tuesday morning in Chatham County ended 14 hours later with the gunman (pictured at left) surrendering peacefully to law enforcement officers Tuesday afternoon.

Four people were injured in the Chatham County standoff that began at about 1 a.m. Tuesday. S.W.A.T. teams were posted at the scene in the early morning and remained throughout most of what turned out to be a very tense day.

At one point, officers approached the door of the house and were greeted by gunfire. Authorities say two law enforcement officers and two other people were injured by birdshot fired from a shotgun.

The standoff reportedly began after 32-year-old Vander Mote entered the home of his ex-wife. He allegedly told a babysitter to leave before he took three children hostage in a rural house about 10 miles west of Pittsboro. Family members were able to negotiate the release of two of the children (one of the first two children released pictured at left) by late morning. The two released were Mote's children by his ex-wife. The child he kept with him inside the house was a visitor. Her mother, Kristin Guinn (pictured at right), said she was happy to see the Mote children emerge from the house, but feared greatly for the life of her own daughter (pictured at lower left leaving the house).

No children were injured, and none of the injuries sustained were serious.

Chatham County Chief Deputy Ike Gray (pictured bottom, right) said it was a tense situation which they took very seriously.

Mote recently spent 13 months in jail on a drunk-driving conviction, and was arrested previously for his part in a domestic dispute. He now faces, according to police, a host of new charges related to Tuesday's standoff, including charges related to the shooting of police officers.

Mote reportedly entered the house taking the children hostage because he was upset that his ex-wife has a boyfriend.

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