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Held Hostage

Three police agencies continue to investigate a hostage situation in Franklin County Sunday afternoon.

Deputies say a 19-year-old girl was shot while she and three other children were trying to escape her stepfather.

Bullet holes were in the walls, blood was on the side of the street and neighbors were frightened enough to evacuate.

"Well, I was pretty shaken. I guess anybody would be having them shots, and all that screaming," said Carolyn Varnes, a neighbor.

It was a scary Saturday night in the Apalachicola neighborhood, but no one would face more fear than the four children police say were being held hostage inside a home on Bayview Drive.

Franklin County deputies say a 19-year-old girl inside tried to push three other children out the window to escape the wrath of her stepfather. Gunshots rang out. Deputies say she was shot, then an Apalachicola police officer took aim at the suspect, Howard Ensinger, Sr., and fired.

"I wasn't really scared, but I just was cautious ‘cause he could shoot and it come all the way through and hit somebody. I was cautious of that. Didn't know what would happen when the SWAT team came here," said JC Varnes, a next door neighbor

Throughout the day there have been dozens of cars driving by each one of them stopping to tell us a little bit about the family. Both the victim and the suspect are in the hospital with non-critical gunshot wounds; the other three children are with family members.

Franklin County Sheriff Mike Mock says charges against Ensinger are pending.


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