TAMPA, Fla. – A gunman barricaded himself in an indoor shooting range, taking hostages during a 10-hour siege that ended when he shot himself to death early Friday, authorities said. None of the hostages was hurt.
Jeffrey Lane Dudney, 43, of Tampa, was facing attempted murder charges when he went to the shooting range Thursday afternoon intending to steal a firearm and flee the area, Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee said.
When someone confronted him, Dudney took five people hostage, including a woman who owned the Shooting Sports Inc. gun store and range, Gee said.
Hours of tense negotiations ensued with Dudney, who said he didn't want to go to prison and repeatedly threatened to kill the hostages.
"Every two or three minutes, he was threatening to start shooting people one by one," Gee said. "He was very agitated, very amped up."
The gunman was often seen during the standoff holding a pistol to the head of hostages, Gee said. During negotiations with officers, he released two hostages. Because of the number of guns and amount of ammunition inside, police chose to negotiate rather than storm the building, authorities said.
Then at about 3 a.m., Dudney killed himself with a gunshot to the upper body, authorities said.
"He told us earlier he was contemplating suicide," Gee said.
Dudney had been released from the Hillsborough County jail Saturday on a $150,500 bond on three counts of attempted murder, according to jail records. He was accused of firing a gun at witnesses who followed him after he was involved in a crash earlier in the day, Gee said.
Up to 200 officers were on the scene, and busy Dale Mabry Highway was closed near the shooting range at the height of the rush hour.
During the standoff, police asked media outlets to refrain from reporting any information about the situation for fear of further upsetting the gunman. The Associated Press and some others accommodated the request. Others reported it on Web sites.