Authorities in Oklahoma released video Friday showing a man holding a knife to a 2-year-old girl’s throat while taking her hostage inside a Midwest City Walmart. The man, Sammie Lamont Wallace, was later killed by police after a 30-minute hostage negotiation deteriorated. The child emerged from the incident unharmed.
The video shows Wallace, 37, snatching the 2-year-old daughter of Alice Keating from a shopping cart. A 30-minute hostage negotiation between a Midwest City police officer and Wallace ensued, which ended with the 37-year-old being shot and killed by Midwest City Police Capt. David Huff. The police department’s headquarters is located across the street from the Walmart.
“He had a weapon in his hand. A knife-type weapon holding up against the child, threatening the child’s life,” Midwest City Assistant Police Chief Sid Porter told ABC News.
Wallace did not appear to want to negotiate with police, authorities said, because he was making odd demands and started counting down from 60 seconds while holding the knife to the child’s throat as the 2-year-old squirmed. Huff was ready for the possibility of having to shoot Wallace, Clabes said, and understood that the child might be killed if he missed the suspect.
“Prior to knowing the situation, knowing that negotiations were deteriorating, he actually walked around the corner to the aisle and checked to make sure he had a round in his chamber. Because he knew if he was going to take the shot, he’d have one chance,” Clabes said of his sergeant.
Brad Garrett, a former FBI agent and ABC News consultant, said Huff made the right decision to shoot Wallace.
“When a subject starts telling you that in 60 seconds he’s going to kill a hostage, that’s going to move you right up to the point that you will shoot him, and that’s what occurred in this case,” Garrett said.
Clabes said police didn’t want the situation ending in Wallace’s death. “Obviously, our goal was to talk him down to get him to release the child,” he said. “Unfortunately, we weren’t successful, but we were successful in saving this child, and the fact is that Captain Huff’s actions were extremely heroic and he waited till the very last moment.”
Keating’s 12-year-old daughter was also inside the Walmart when the 2-year-old was taken hostage.