YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: An Exxon executive wrestled with a 63-year-old service station employee armed with a knife and a starter pistol who later held police at bay for more than two and a half hours before surrendering to SWAT-team negotiators.
A replica of the starter pistol that police said gunman used
Paramus Police Chief Christopher Brock said his department got the initial call just after 11 a.m. from a worker at the Exxon office at 13 Sunflower Avenue, saying a burglar with a gun had broken in.
More than a dozen borough police officers rushed to the scene and found that Khalet “George” Ringo had holed up in a first-floor office, the chief said.
They established a perimeter, evacuated the building and summoned the Bergen County SWAT Team. Another dozen or so county officers arrived within minutes, Brock said.
They soon learned that Ringo had come to speak with one of the owners, pulled a gun from his waist band and “made threatening gestures,” the chief said. The man struggled with Ringo before fleeing, he said.
Police tried to contact Ringo through the office phone line, but he refused to answer and then “compromised” the phone system, said Brock, who did not elaborate.
A Bergen County K-9 officer who knew Ringo from the gas station where he worked was brought to the scene. After a long stretch of silence, Ringo began talking with him by “talking loudly” through a door and window, the chief said.
“[E]ventually the officer was able to convince the suspect to voluntarily surrender,” Brock said. “The suspect surrendered with no resistance and was removed from the scene. A search of the scene produced a black semi-automatic hand gun, knife, and duct tape.”
The gun, the chief said, is a Bruni Model 92 9MM starter pistol.
Ringo was being evaluated at Bergen County Regional Medical Center in Paramus before being transported to the county jail, pending bail.
He is charged with attempted kidnapping, aggravated Assault, weapons possession, and making terroristic threats.
Besides the SWAT team, a K9 squad and other officers were on the scene.
The building, which has a Prudential sign out front, is on a dead end off Route 17 near the Popeye’s restaurant. It houses several different offices.
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