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Baby Stabbed, Suspect Shot in St. George Standoff

Baby Stabbed, Suspect Shot in St. George Standoff

Posted - Jun. 26, 2004 at 10:59 a.m.



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Sandra Yi reportingA baby was held hostage and stabbed by a man, during a standoff with police last night in St. George.

The suspect was shot by officers, then arrested.

Neighbors tell us the baby is a five-month-old boy.

Police say he suffered stab wounds to some internal organs, but the he is expected to recover.

It all started out as a domestic violence call.

Kat Collins/Neighbor: "I saw the lady across the street coming across the street, and I asked her what happened. I got in front of her and she said her husband just stabbed her."

Kat Collins saw her neighbor outside, frantic. She had been stabbed in the hand.

"She was very upset," Collins says. "She was very upset. Her hand was bleeding really bad. I tried to calm her down."

The woman told Collins, her husband was still in her house, with her three children. Two made it out. But police arrived to find the suspect, 28-year-old Valentin Echevarria, holding the baby, and threatening to harm him.

Craig Harding/ St. George Police Dept.: "We tried to talk to him. That didn't work. He began to carry out his threats of violence to the child."

Police say he stabbed the baby more than once. That's when officers shot him with beanbags.

Craig Harding: "Those beanbag rounds had little or no effect. So we were forced to step up the level of force we were using to try and make him stop violence to the child."

Police then used bullets to shoot the suspect in the hip, as he was holding the baby.

Authorities were able to grab the child. He was taken to the hospital. The incident left neighbors shaken up.

Kat Collins: "It was scary. It hit close to home."

Police say Echevarria was deported several weeks ago, after he was arrested for disorderly conduct.

Kat Collins would see him in the store she works at. She never thought he could be so violent.

"He seemed alright to me, but what goes behind close doors is totally different," she says.

Echevarria was treated for a gunshot wound, and is now in the Washington County Jail, on charges of aggravated attempted murder and kidnapping.

Police say he's the father of two of the children in the home, but not the baby he allegedly stabbed.

At this point, we don't know the motive.

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