Sheriff: Sniper fatally shoots man holding woman hostage in Benton City

BENTON CITY, Wash. - A sniper shot and killed an armed man holding a woman hostage at a Benton City home on Thursday, according to Benton County Sheriff Jerry Hatcher.  

Around 11 a.m., the Benton County Sheriff's Office received a report of a suicidal man with a gun inside a car. By the time deputies responded, the man had gone inside a house on Jonah Lane and an hours-long standoff ensued.

Deputies learned he was a 50-year-old man from West Richland who was apparently threatening a 49-year-old woman with a gun and preventing her from leaving. The woman was either a girlfriend or acquaintance. 

Negotiators were able to get the man on the phone, and officials heard the woman telling him not to point the gun at her. 

A SWAT team was called to the scene and multiple snipers positioned themselves outside of the home. One of the snipers got an open shot and took it. The man was pronounced dead at  the scene. 

This marks the first officer-involved shooting in Benton County in 2018. 

Multiple agencies including the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, Kennewick Police, Pasco Police, Richland Police, West Richland Police and the Richland Bomb Squad are assisting.