A South Carolina Law Enforcement Division Agent with the Bomb Squad helped peacefully end a nearly nine-hour long hostage situation in Wytheville, Virginia Wednesday night.
The Agent, whose name is not being released, called his friend, Jim Oliver Wednesday afternoon to wish him a Merry Christmas. The SLED Agent soon found out that his greetings happened while an armed man was holding his friend and others hostage inside a post office. The suspect also claimed to have explosives. The hostage-taker, identified as Warren “Gator” Taylor of Tennessee, answered the Agent’s phone call. The Agent quickly understood what was happening and that his friend was not harmed. The Agent talked with Taylor for several minutes, at the same time using another phone to call a SLED Captain and advise him of the situation, who in turn notified police in Virginia.
The Agent and Taylor talked several times during the incident, apparently establishing a rapport, discussing common knowledge about the military and explosives. The Agent, his friend and local authorities helped to convince Taylor to end the hostage-situation.