Gunman Holds Cousin Hostage, Livestreams Standoff on Instagram, Police Say

Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small told NBC10 at least one hostage is inside the home with the suspect.

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A man who police say may have been dealing with mental health issues is now in custody after he held his 13-year-old cousin hostage at gunpoint inside a Philadelphia home and livestreamed the standoff on Instagram, according to investigators.

Police responded to a home on the 6100 block of West Columbia Avenue around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday for a report of a man with a gun. When they arrived they spotted a 13-year-old girl standing inside by the window. The girl told police a man who was armed with a gun was inside the home with her.

Police then spotted a 21-year-old man inside the home. That man told police he was armed with a gun, investigators said.

Police told the man to come outside but he refused, according to investigators. Officials then declared a barricade situation. A SWAT team, hostage negotiators, detectives and officers then surrounded the home.

Police then contacted family members who lived nearby. The family members told police the gunman was the teen girl's cousin and he did not live with her inside the home. Police then called the suspect on his cellphone.

"He seemed a little bit off in his mental behavior," Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said. "Wasn't making sense at times."

Police said they then discovered the suspect was streaming the hostage situation on Instagram Live. When police watched the livestream, they saw video of the man pointing a gun at his cousin.

Police said they communicated with the man for about three hours. They then began talking with him through a bullhorn and eventually convinced him to let his younger cousin go.

The girl left the home and was not injured. The suspect then surrendered to police about ten minutes later, police said.

No one was hurt during the ordeal. Police believe the suspect was either dealing with mental health issues or under the influence of drugs. They have not yet revealed his identity or the charges he'll face.

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