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Armed man held 5 people hostage at BR apartment before getting into lengthy standoff with deputies

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BATON ROUGE - A man allegedly held five people hostage at his neighbor's apartment before getting into a lengthy standoff with sheriff's deputies Thursday. 

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The standoff was first reported around 2:30 p.m.. The building is located on Gardere Lane between Highland Road and Burbank Drive. The suspect refused to come out of the apartment after allegedly firing a rifle at a bail bondsman.

No one was hurt.

Officials say deputies were initially called to assist the bail bonds agent, who was trying to detain the suspect after the he failed to show up for court in Beauregard Parish. The suspect, identified as 33-year-old Kevin Carlin Jr., was taken into custody shortly before 7 p.m.

An arrest warrant drafted during the standoff says Carlin used a balcony window to break into a neighbor's apartment, where he allegedly held five people — including children — at gunpoint. He held them captive for roughly 30 minutes before releasing four of the hostages, and the final victim escaped after another 15 minutes passed.

The family has started a GoFundMe to help pay for temporary housing

"He was just telling me, 'I'm good, I'm good.' But of course, it's your freedom versus my life. So I put myself first," said William Bell, who was the last to escape.

Bell said he waited for his opportunity and snuck out.

"I noticed that he was more scared than me, and he was just all over the place. And once I found my way out... I left."

The victims told WBRZ that the family had never seen Carlin before.

Carlin will be booked on charges of aggravated burglary, attempted murder and five counts of false imprisonment with a dangerous weapon. 

A message sent out to families earlier Thursday afternoon said that nearby St. Jude the Apostle School was entering a "soft lockdown." It would be hours before the students were released to their parents.

"Due to a disturbance on Gardere, we are in a soft lockdown. Students are safely in classes. Our on campus sheriff is monitoring the situation. Parents and students are not allowed to enter or exit the buildings at this time. We will update again before dismissal."

A spokesperson for the Baton Rouge Diocese told WBRZ that students at St. Jude were released around 5:20 p.m.

IDEA Innovation School, located nearby on Innovation Park Drive, was allowing parents to pick up their children by carpool only. 

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