With captive kids' lives at risk, cops coax gunman into surrendering

Kendal Runnels (Source: LCPD)
Kendal Runnels (Source: LCPD)

The following is a news release from the Lake Charles Police Department:

On Aug. 21, 2012 at 2:29 a.m., Lake Charles Police responded to 327 McNabb Street after receiving a 911 call in reference to a disturbance. Upon arrival, officers learned that a man was inside the residence with a gun. As police officers approached the home, they could see that the man was armed with a large caliber handgun. It was soon learned that the home was also occupied by two children, ages 6 and 7. Police negotiators and members of S.W.A.T. began speaking with the suspect and after nearly 3 ½ hours, the children were allowed to leave. A short time later the suspect exited and was arrested without incident.

After the scene was rendered safe, police learned that the suspect arrived at the residence and began arguing with his girlfriend, the home owner. He then shot one round outside and then one inside. According to detectives, the female fled to call police and the children were held hostage by the suspect.

The suspect, 33-year-old Kendal Runnels, of Lake Charles, was arrested and charged with two counts of kidnapping and one count of illegal discharge of a firearm.

Lead investigators are Cpl. James Roden and Detective Kirk Farquhar.