Security Feature Kept Norman Hostage Suspect From Dozens Of Potential Victims

Tuesday, November 11th 2014, 11:48 pm
By: News 9

News 9 learned more about the intense moments of a 4-hour hostage situation in Norman. New details emerged about negotiation tactics and what stopped the suspect from taking nearly 30 hostages.

"All he said was, 'More people' in just the evilest [sic], creepiest voice you can imagine. It was terrifying," hostage Joe Steadman said.

11/11/2014 Related Story: Norman Hostage Recounts Being Held At Gunpoint

Steadman was grabbed from behind and the metal barrel of a gun pressed to the skin on the back of his neck.

"I said, 'I've got a young family. Please don't kill me.' And he said, 'If I wanted to kill you, you'd already be dead,'" Steadman said.

The gunman was hiding in the bushes, waiting for someone to latch onto and force his way into the building. The suspect, Devin Rogers, clutched Steadman's shirt and the two walked together across the parking lot and inside the building.

Steadman told the secretary to call 911. The supsect dragged Steadman into the elevator, and as the doors were closing, Steadman yelled out his name to identify himself. His card key only gave him access to the second floor where he works and luckily the floor was almost empty. But just one floor up, it wasn't so vacant. Thirty to 35 employees were upstairs, separated from the gunman by a security feature that only allows employees access to area where they work, leaving Rogers unsatisfied.

He continued his quest for more people and came to a glass door that separated them from two more people who he later took hostage as well. However, the glass door wouldn't open. So Rogers started shooting the glass, and when he let go of Steadman to fire the shots, Steadman ran for his life.

The gunfire didn't hit anyone, but it gave hostage negotiators a better idea of who they were dealing with.

11/10/2014 Related Story: Norman Hostage Situation Ends Peacefully, Suspect In Custody

"It tells us he is committed to firing a gun. That is a very dynamic situation," hostage negotiator Tyrone Lynn said. "The key thing is to begin to develop rapport."

News 9 also heard from one of those other hostages. Daymon Capers said, "I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of prayers and support for myself and family during this emotional time. The outcome could have been so different."