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7-Hour Hostage Standoff Ends Peacefully In North Durham

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DURHAM, N.C. — A 7-hour hostage standoff at

1915 Stadium Drive

in North Durham ended peacefully late Tuesday evening, and the suspect accused of holding a wheelchair bound man hostage is behind bars.

At about 4 p.m., a Durham police spokeswoman told WRAL, officers responded to a report of a break-in in progress. When they arrived to the scene, they discovered 38-year-old Steve Gardner inside the residence holding a 62-year-old man in a wheelchair hostage at knifepoint.

Police said Gardner is the ex-boyfriend of a woman who lives in the house who had just taken out a restraining order against him. The woman had just left the house to pick up her children, authorities said, when Gardner went inside and barricaded himself in the house.

Gardner stayed inside the home until about 11:30 p.m. when he went outside to get some firewood. At that point, authorities took him into custody without incident. The hostage, who police said, was the ex-girlfriend's stepfather, was found unharmed.

Two blocks of Stadium Drive near the Durham County Stadium and Durham Regional Hospital were blocked off as authorities responded to the situation.

Shortly after the standoff began, the ex-girlfriend's sister was arrested after, police said, she ran over an officer's foot.

Gardner was already facing charges stemming from a domestic violence situation with the woman last week, authorities said. He now faces charges of first-degree kidnapping, aggravated assault and simple assault. He is now in jail on $200,000 bond.

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