Queens standoff ends with 5 hostages released, 2 men in custody

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
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The suspects, ages 35 and 51, were apparently looking for a large amount of money they believed to be stashed inside the 125th Street home in Richmond Hill.

RICHMOND HILL, Queens (WABC) -- Two armed men surrendered early Wednesday morning, five hours after they allegedly burst into a Queens home and held five people hostage during a home invasion robbery.

The suspects, identified by police as 35-year-old Tex Ortiz and 41-year-old Wilbert Wilson, were apparently looking for a large amount of money they believed to be stashed inside the 125th Street home in Richmond Hill.

Police say the men stormed inside just before 9 p.m. Tuesday, holding four women -- ages 33, 33, 62, 92 -- and a baby at gunpoint.

One woman called 911, and the suspects let her and her baby leave.

"Police officers from the 106 Precinct responded, encountered a female victim with an infant child who reported that there were armed people in her home and she had been assaulted," said Assistant Chief Ruben Beltran, commanding officer of NYPD Patrol Borough Queens South.

Two other women were released about two hours into the standoff, and the woman was let out soon after that.

The two suspects then remained in the house, and police talked to them for three more hours. At one point, they asked for a pizza.

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NYPD Special Ops released a photo taken from their helicopter overhead that showed the police response on the ground. They had the house surrounded.

NYPD Special Ops

Ortiz and Wilson finally surrendered to the police at 2:08 a.m.

Two guns were recovered, and charges against them are pending.

Both men have multiple prior arrests and were out on parole.

Police say they learned that a 36-year-old resident of the home had died of cancer on October 1, and they believed he had a large amount of money in the house. That man also had a criminal record.

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