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Pittsburgh Hostage Standoff Ends

A man shot two children, killing one, and threw sticks of dynamite out of his windows to keep police at bay today before killing himself, authorities said.

The man, identified as 46-year-old Alan or Allen Waterhouse, shot himself in the head after police tried for 12 hours to resolve what they initially believed was a hostage situation involving several children, police Chief Greg Smolka said.

State police had tried to negotiate with Waterhouse by phone ever since 2:15 a.m., when they were called to the apartment building about 30 miles east of Pittsburgh to investigate reports of gunshots.

Waterhouse had fired the shots from an apartment belonging to Cheryl Barnhart, who was believed to be his girlfriend. They found Ms. Barnhart's son, Jeremy Barnhart, 9, dead with a single gunshot wound to the head and Jeremy's sister, Cori Barnhart, 14, injured from a gunshot wound to the chest.

Cori, who ran to a neighbor's house, was flown to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, where she was in critical condition.

Waterhouse, a multiple sclerosis patient who used a wheelchair, somehow returned to his own apartment in the same complex, where he held police at bay all morning.

During the standoff, Waterhouse threw lit sticks of dynamite out a window and fired shots at police. Authorities had lobbed tear gas into the apartment during the standoff.

Nobody was injured by the dynamite, and no police were injured in the standoff. About 20 apartments in the complex had been evacuated.

Written by Casey Combs

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