Hostage standoff leaves 2 dead in SE Queens

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A Rochdale Village man killed himself after holding his baby daughter hostage during a six-hour standoff with police that began Saturday morning when he shot his way into his ex-girlfriend’s Springfield Gardens home, fatally wounding her mother, authorities said.

The gunman, who had just been released from prison for assaulting the former girlfriend, also wounded two men as he broke into the house at 140-45 169th St.

Officers found 23-year-old Jarrett Jordan dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head when they stormed the house at 1:40 p.m. He had barricaded himself since 7:30 a.m. with a shotgun and two hostages, his 4-month old daughter and 48-year-old James Alexander, both of whom he released unharmed at 1 p.m.

A family friend said Jordan came by the house to murder his ex-girlfriend Diane Hicks, his baby daughter’s mother, who was not home at the time because she had gone out with friends.

“He came there looking for her and she wasn’t there. He had been threatening her all week,” said Diane Hicks’ godmother, who asked that her name not be used. “He’d come to kill Diane ... He had intentions of killing her and him.”

Instead he murdered her mother, 41-year-old Dorothy Hicks, who died at Mary Immaculate Hospital almost 12 hours after Jordan shot her, police said. Diane Hicks waited at the scene with police during most of the standoff.

The altercation brought a violent end to the stormy relationship between 18-year-old Diane Hicks and Jordan, who had a lengthy rap sheet that listed five arrests and a history of domestic abuse against his girlfriend, police said.

Jordan had been released Oct. 11 from prison, where he remained in custody since Aug. 8 for punching Diane Hicks and threatening her with a knife, said Patrick Clark, a spokesman for Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

Jordan was released on his own recognizance after pleading guilty to charges of unlawful imprisonment and menacing in a plea deal that required him to attend an outpatient drug treatment program and anger management counseling while remaining on probation for three years, Clark said.

Diane Hicks had agreed to the sentence, Clark said, and a restraining order was issued to bar Jordan from approaching the family and their property.

“He’s not supposed to be there,” said Leroy Grissom, Diane’s father, at the height of the standoff.

Jordan violated the order at 7:20 a.m. Saturday when he forced his way into the small home with a pink stucco facade, police said.

“He shot the locks off the door,” said Alexander, the only adult who stayed with Jordan during the six-hour ordeal.

Wielding a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun, Jordan shot Dorothy Hicks and the two men who were with her, then scoped out the rest of the house as the three wounded fled to neighbors.

The victims were rushed by ambulance to Mary Immaculate and Jamaica hospitals as police stationed themselves outside the home, where Jordan had barricaded himself with his daughter and Alexander, a family friend.

“After a while I said, ‘‘If you don’t want me to leave, I’m going to stay here,’” Alexander said in an interview.

Police spent the next six hours attempting to negotiate with Jordan while multiple units came to the scene, turning the streets into a sea of people as neighbors stood beyond police lines and members of the media held vigil.

“He used to beat her up. I just had a feeling something bad was gonna happen,” said Delores Austin, 32, a longtime family friend. “She was a young girl, she was in love.”

The hostages walked out of the house at 1 p.m., police said.

“I said, ‘Well, Jarrett ... you can shoot me if you want to, but I’m going out of the house with the baby, Jarrett, because I ain’t got nothing to do with this,’” Alexander recalled. “He shot himself when I was coming down the steps.”

Alexander left the house with the baby in his arms, swaddled in a blue hooded jumper.

Police waited until 1:40 p.m. before storming the house, first firing a stun grenade through the window, then piling to the building behind a wall of shields. No one was left in the house except for Jordan, who had killed himself.

But the ordeal was not yet over. Dorothy Hicks died at 7 p.m. at Mary Immaculate Hospital, half a day after she was first shot in the shoulder.

“I thought she was gonna make it,” her daughter’s godmother said. “She lived from 7:30 all the way to 7 at night. It didn’t make no sense.”

Reach reporter Dustin Brown by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 154.

Posted 7:25 pm, October 10, 2011
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