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Suspect in Billings Heights hostage situation identified

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Posted at 7:53 AM, May 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-03 12:11:18-04

Update :2:45 p.m.

BILLINGS - The Billings Police Department identified Monday the man arrested following a standoff with hostages at a Heights residence.

Police said 47-year-old Donald Foster was arrested after 9 a.m. when he agreed to come out of the residence. An 18-year-old woman who he had allegedly been taken hostage was also freed.

Foster is being held on possible charges of assault with a weapon, aggravated kidnapping, and aggravated sexual intercourse without consent.

The incident began shortly before 2 a.m. Monday when officers responded to a 911 call from a 77-year-old woman who said she was being held hostage by Foster. She was able to run and escaped from the residence, police said.

The 18-year-old woman remained inside the residence and was held against her will, police said.

The Billings police SWAT team, negotiators and bomb squad responded to the scene and negotiators began communicating with Foster. The woman was later released and Foster surrendered.

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Update 10 a.m.

The hostage situation in the Heights ended shortly before 10 a.m.

Billings Police Sgt. Shane Winden said the second hostage was released. The suspect surrendered and was taken into custody.

Chief St. John said he will hold a press conference later Monday to provide the public with information about the incident.

The "Shelter in Place" alert has been lifted.

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Update 9:25 a.m.

A woman in black pants and a blue shirt ran out of home at about 9:20 a.m. Police patted her down. It appears police in SWAT gear have entered the home.

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Update 8:30 a.m.

BILLINGS - A man who was recently released from prison was holding an 18-year-old woman hostage in a Billings Heights home on Monday morning, said Billings Police Chief Rich St. John.

The incident began around 2:30 a.m. as a domestic disturbance on the 300 block of Stillwater Lane.

The man originally had two women in the home, including his mother and a younger woman, St. John said.

The suspect let his mother go but kept the other woman inside.

Officers spoke to her on the phone and she is reportedly unharmed.

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Billings police were at the scene of a hostage situation in the Billings Heights on Monday morning.

A "shelter in place" was issued Monday morning by Yellowstone County Disaster Emergency Services.

Chief St. John clarified the alert was for the half-mile area surrounding the intersection of Stillwater Lane and Lake Elmo Drive.

He encouraged people to stay home and avoid walking past the scene.

A barricade has been set up and negotiators are on scene.

The chief said their goal is to isolate and stabilize the incident and want to make sure everyone gets out safe.

The suspect, whose name has not been released, served time in prison for armed robbery, according to St. John.

The police department has been able to confirm he has a knife in the home and possibly some guns.

The man was staying at his mother’s home, where the hostage situation is taking place.

The chief said the relationship between the suspect and hostage is unclear.

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Billings police were at the scene of a hostage situation in the Billings Heights on Monday morning.

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Update 8:10 a.m.

Billings School District 2 said no schools or students are in danger and schools will operate as normal.

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BILLINGS - Residents are being told by law enforcement to shelter in place as an "active police incident" unfolds in the Billings Heights.

Details are limited. Billings police sent out a post on social media, writing "Active police incident occurring in the 300 block of Stillwater Ln. Please avoid the area."

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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Billings police were at the scene of a hostage situation in the Billings Heights on Monday morning.

The Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office posted on Facebook shortly before 8 a.m. Monday that a "Shelter in Place" alert was mistakenly sent out to the entire county.