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Monday December 11th 2017

Hostage taker updated Facebook status during standoff

Despite a tense 16-hour, overnight standoff with SWAT teams, Jason Valdez still found time to update his Facebook page so friends and relatives could keep abreast of his actions.

Not only did he update his mates, but he also got some outside help via Facebook too.

A friend posted that a SWAT officer was hiding in the bushes.

“Thank you homie,” Valdez replied. “Good looking out.”

The armed 36 year old Valdez was holding a woman hostage in a motel in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The standoff started after officers tried to serve him with a felony drug warrant for the missed court appearance.

He objected and barricaded himself in the Western Colony Inn.

“I’m currently in a standoff … kinda ugly, but ready for whatever,” Valdez wrote in his first post at 11:23 p.m.

“I love u guyz and if I don’t make it out of here alive that I’m in a better place and u were all great friends.”

He said in posts that he was with a woman named Veronica. Police described her as a hostage, but he said that she was there willingly.

Valdez posted two pictures of himself and the woman.

“Got a cute `Hostage’ huh,” Valdez wrote of the photographs.

The final post was at 7:25 a.m. Saturday:

“Well i was lettin this girl go but these dumb bastards made an attempt to come in after i told them not to, so i popped off a couple more shots and now were startin all over again it seems …”

Eventually officers swarmed the room and Valdez shot himself in the chest with a handgun. He is now in critical condition in hospital.

During the standoff, Valdez made six posts and added at least a dozen new friends. Some people offered words of support, and others pleaded for him to “do the right thing.”

It isn’t immediately clear, whether police were following the posts in real-time, though the department spokeswoman said officers routinely search the Internet and other sources for background on suspects.

Police are now discussing on whether to charge any of his Facebook friends with ‘obstruction of justice for hampering a police investigation.’

Valdez, in the meantime, could be facing new charges stemming from his actions during the standoff, including fire his handgun at police.

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