UPDATE 12:22 Eastern: Police on the scene just told us that the suspect was not in the apartment. Three people were in the apartment but there was never a hostage situation and the suspect was not there. The who situation was supposedly sparked when police came with an arrest warrant and the residents in the apartment would not let them in.
We thought the tense standoff was coming to an end in Manhattan's Lower East Side, where a homicide suspect was supposedly barricaded with three potential hostages. Our reporter at the scene said the hostage team left the building and the suspect was expected to emerge.
Although there were initial reports that situation was breaking on Madison Avenue, it's actually at 40 Madison Street in the Lower East Side.
Heavy is on the scene, where a helicopter was be heard flying overhead and the entire block is roped off. Neighbors say the city has cut off water and power.
Empty cars are stranded in the middle of Madison Street, where police apparently made drivers jump out and abandon their vehicles on the spot.
Here's what we know about this breaking story.
1. Two Children and a Wheelchair-Bound Woman Are Held 'Hostage'
Gothamist is reporting that a 31-year-old suspect named Jimmy Siders ....
...has barricaded himself in the apartment with two children, one male and one female, and a 50-year-old woman in a wheelchair. Officers are currently attempting to communicate with Siders from the hallway, and it is unclear if he is armed. The woman being held in the apartment is believed to be Siders's mother.
We first overheard police on the scene saying overheard saying that it may not be a hostage situation and are unsure if the suspect is armed. However, police continued to refer to the situation as a "stand-off." Police have just told our reporter on the scene that one of the two children in the apartment in question is between 3 and 9 years old. However, we have just learned that the suspect was not in the apartment in question, and that the 3 supposed "hostages" were there alone.
2. The Suspect is Reportedly Wanted Regarding a Homicide
The Daily Mail is reporting that the incident began when a suspected killer barricaded himself in a residence.
ABC7 reports he is "the third suspect in the 2010 murder of a Pace University student."
A Daily News story from 2010 describes the September 29, 2010, gunshot murder of 21-year-old pot dealer Max Moreno, who "was shot to death on Wednesday in a posh Manhattan apartment he used to deal drugs..."
Two prior arrests have been made in that murder: Raymond Rizzo and Randy Colon, both 30.
3. A SWAT Team Responded and the Building is Surrounded
— Sheldon Dutes (@SheldonDutes4NY) June 12, 2013
Negotiators were reportedly communicating with the suspect but now we have learned they were still trying to determine whether or not the suspect was in the apartment, which he was not.
A police scanner reporting website uploaded this report:
06/12/13 08:31 (MANHATTAN - ) UNITS ON SCENE OF A BARRICADED PERPETRATOR, NEGOTIATOR ENROUTE [NYC055]
A man claiming the be the next-door neighbor to the apartment where the hostages are held told Heavy that cops "have been banging on the door since 6:30 a.m." However, Fox News reports that the NYPD Warrant Squad arrived to arrest Siders at 8:45 a.m.
Earlier we saw the police inflated a large cushion below the suspects window, supposedly in case the suspect attempted to jump from the window. We now believe that this cushion is being deflated.
4. It's a Residential Building
The address at 40 Madison Street is part of the Governor Alfred E. Smith Houses, a housing project that spans from 20 to 70 Madison Street.
5. It's Very Close to the NYPD Headquarters
View Chinatown Manhattan Hostage Situation in a larger map
According to Google Maps, the distance between the front of 40 Madison Street to the back of the NYPD headquarters is just about 700 feet.
Press on the scene: