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Court papers: Hostages fought back in moments before police shooting

The suspect who was shot and killed was identified as Raheem Reeder, according to court documents.
FILE PHOTO: A Tallahassee police officer shot and killed an armed man following a hostage...
FILE PHOTO: A Tallahassee police officer shot and killed an armed man following a hostage situation late Thursday, according to the Tallahassee Police Department. (April 9, 2021)(wctv)
Published: Apr. 12, 2021 at 11:29 AM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Newly released court documents describe the terrifying moments inside a Valencia Drive apartment right before police surrounded it and ultimately shot and killed a fleeing suspect in the backyard.

Valerie Hatton is facing murder, armed robbery, burglary and kidnapping charges in connection with a hostage situation that unfolded after the suspect fled a traffic stop. He was shot by police after jumping out of a second-story window and pointing a gun at an officer trying to stop him, court papers say.

Hatton went before a judge for her first court appearance over the weekend.

Court documents now filed in the clerk’s office say the residents of the Valencia Drive apartment noticed a car in their assigned space when they came home Thursday night and the woman in the car asked them for help. Once inside their apartment, court papers say, the suspect walked in with the woman’s young child and told them they were trying to get away from the police.

The suspect grabbed a loaded gun that was inside the apartment, court papers say, and ordered the couple to give up their Apple Watches and cell phones as he held them at gunpoint in the hallway.

At one point, the suspect tucked the gun into his pants with the grip exposed, and the male resident attacked him, court papers say. That gave the woman who lives there a chance to run out of the apartment.

Court papers say the suspect then jumped out of a second-story window with a gun in his hand.

“The officer at the rear of the house gave the suspect verbal commands not to move, but the suspect instead pointed the gun at the officer,” the court papers say.

Court papers also say it all started when Tallahassee police officers spotted the car with Illinois license plates in the 800 block of Ocala Road and smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from the car.

There were four people in the car, according to the court papers: Two men, a woman and a child. Both men initially got out, but one got back in and police yelled at him “don’t drive off, don’t you drive off.”  As the car was fleeing, it struck and injured an officer. The tense moments were captured by police body cameras, court papers say.

Court papers also say soon after police spotted the car abandoned on Valencia Street, a woman ran out of an apartment screaming that the suspects were inside holding people hostage, and a man soon came running out as well.

In an interview with police, Hatton claimed to be a victim in the scenario and denied knowing the suspect except by the name “Robert,” according to the court papers.

Officers later identified the suspect as Raheem Reeder, court papers say.

The residents managed to covertly record videos of Hatton and Reeder inside their home before the suspects took their phones, according to the court papers.

Court papers say both the traffic stop in which an officer was struck by Reeder’s fleeing car and the deadly confrontation in the backyard were captured on video by police body cameras.

The State Attorney said Friday he does not object to the immediate release of the body cam videos.

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