Child used as human shield in Sunday standoff

Standoff incident at mile post 95 on Interstate 15, just past the Hwy 20 junction. NB traffic backs up from the incident. MP 95 is between Parowan and Beaver, Utah, April 27, 2014 | Photo by Corey McNeil, St. George News

IRON COUNTY — Just after 12 p.m., Sunday, on Interstate 15, near mile post 95, a 28-year-old man barricaded himself in a vehicle, with a 2-year-old child he held hostage. SWAT teams and negotiators were behind their nearby vehicles working with him to surrender. I-15  was shutdown completely for over five hours and detours around the scene were clogged with travelers.

The man’s name and more details surrounding the incident have since been released.

Zeland Adams, 28, of Yakima, Wash., surrendered just before 6 p.m., Sunday, after the five-hour-long standoff. The 2-year-old child was returned to his mother, Adams was arrested and traffic was moving in both directions along the freeway soon after.

Prior to the standoff and surrender, Adams led police on an 18-mile high-speed chase northbound on I-15 with speeds reaching 130 mph, according to a statement by Iron County Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Del Schlosser. The tires on Adams’ car were spiked, then his truck hit another vehicle, and came to a stop. The occupants of the second vehicle were  uninjured, according to the statement.

Prior to the high speed chase, officers had pulled Adams’ vehicle over on a traffic stop. It was determined by police that Adams is wanted in Louisiana in connection with a homicide investigation. The vehicle was subject to a bulletin calling law enforcement to look out for the vehicle in relation to the Louisiana investigation.

During the traffic stop, two adults, who were in the vehicle, were taken into custody. One of the adults was the mother of the child that Adams took hostage. According to a statement issued by the Utah’s Department of Public Safety, before she could retrieve her son, Adams jumped behind the wheel and drove off.

After an 18-mile, high-speed chase, Adam’s vehicle came to a stop at which point he barricaded himself in the car with the boy and possibly multiple guns. According to the DPS statement, Adams had taken the 2-year-old child hostage and was using him as a human shield.

For five hours there was a tense standoff between Adams and police and SWAT teams. The standoff ended with Adams surrendering.  See video of the surrender, courtesy of Charles Triplett, public information officer for Beaver County Sheriff Cameron Noel, here: click Post by Cameron M. Noel.

No one was injured and the boy was returned to his mother.

“Negotiators from Iron County’s Metro SWAT unit did an excellent and patient job working with Adams during the … standoff until they helped him realize he had other options,” DPS said.

Adams was booked into the Iron County Jail Sunday night on, among other things, first-degree felony aggravated kidnapping, second-degree felony theft of a firearm or vehicle, third-degree felony drug possession, third-degree felony evading an officer, and third-degree felony fugitive from justice charges. Adam’s bond stands at $250,000.

The DPS statement said that they don’t anticipate seeking criminal charges against the two passengers that were with him prior to the high-speed chase, and that both of them cooperated.

The statement further addressed the public, it said:

We recognize it was terribly inconvenient for motorists travelling through southern Utah Sunday, but these kinds of freeway closures help keep all parties safe: motorists, the boy and law enforcement. We truly appreciate the public’s cooperation in heeding traffic control instructions.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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  • Bundyundy April 28, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Maybe he got the idea from Bundy? Any women shielding him as well?

  • E T April 28, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    He needs help

    • Joanna April 30, 2014 at 11:57 am

      Indeed. Hopefully his fellow inmates will give him all the “help” he needs.

  • Joanna April 30, 2014 at 11:58 am

    I’m not terribly surprised by this. Anyone who has a tattoo on their face and/or neck pretty much screams “I have poor decision-making skills”.

  • rdunski93 May 2, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Thats my boy Drew Allred!!!!!!!

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