Standoff in Austin Ends with Suspect on the Loose

Updated: 01/14/2014 11:10 PM
Created: 01/14/2014 10:50 PM
By: John Doetkott

(ABC 6 News) -- A standoff in Austin is over, but a suspect remains at large.

Police are now looking for Thomas Kendricks III.

Authorities said the 23-year-old remained at large Tuesday night; however, they don't think he is armed after recovering a weapon at the scene.

Police believe Kendricks was involved in a carjacking early Tuesday morning in Mankato.

ABC 6 News spoke with the woman, originally from Rochester, whose car was stolen, and she said two men put a gun to her head and told her to run.  

Police said that's what ultimately started the standoff.

Early Tuesday morning, Austin police were contacted by authorities in Mankato, and quickly located the stolen car outside of a home on the 1100 block of 8th street NW.

After talking to the homeowner, police learned several suspects were inside and quickly set up a perimeter.

"Negotiations were then started with negative results," Austin Police Chief Brian Krueger said.  "Nobody would respond to us from that residence. We had eyes on the residence, we knew several parties were inside."

For more than nine hours tactical teams surrounded the home where police believed four people were hiding inside.

Five hours into the standoff, around 2:30 p.m., a nine-year-old boy was the first to emerge from the house.

ABC 6 spoke with the boy’s father who said he lives in the home and was at work when he heard the news from his wife.

“She was hysterical, crying, telling me what's going on,” said Antonio Smith. “Thomas and his friends were in the house with my kid, and she was just worried about getting in there to get [my son]."

Several minutes after the young boy appeared, a 15-year-old girl surrendered to police, and several minutes after that a 17-year-old boy also gave himself up.

A couple of hours later, around 5:00 p.m., a team of heavily armed officers entered the home looking for Kendricks. They used K9's multiple times, but weren't able to locate him, saying the believe he left before they ever arrived.

Police recovered a gun inside the home’s basement, and did not believe Kendricks has a weapon.

Both the 15-year-old girl and the 17-year-old boy remain in police custody, and Austin police said they are working with authorities in Mankato to determine what charges will be filed. It’s unclear who was involved in the carjacking.

Kendrick does have a criminal history with convictions of aggravated robbery, burglary, and tampering with a motor vehicle.

Authorities said anyone with information regarding Kendricks’ whereabouts should contact police immediately.

Thomas Kendricks III