Woman says man held her, her daughter at gunpoint for 45 minutes

SELMER, Tenn. — “I had to protect my daughter at all cost,” Heather Shelton said.

A mother and daughter say they were held at gunpoint Tuesday morning in their Selmer apartment.

“I told him he had to shoot me before he could get to my daughter,” Shelton said.

It happened just after 1 a.m. at the Cherry Apartments in Selmer. When police got to the scene, they found the suspect had barricaded himself inside an apartment with two hostages.

“I stood here and I made my daughter sit on that bed,” Shelton recalled.

Shelton says 28-year-old James Gadbaw once dated her daughter. She says he started arguing with her at an apartment next door.

“We got away from that situation and got in here, and he shoved the door open and he came in here and held us hostage for about 45 minutes,” Shelton said.

Police brought in tactical units and surrounded the apartment complex. Inside, Heather says she was shaking.

“He flat out said he was going to take my daughter outside and do a police suicide — walk out there with her, aim the gun and have the police shoot them both,” Shelton said.

After nearly an hour, Heather and her daughter were able to escape.

“The police all have their guns pointed at us, and I’m yelling ‘It’s us. It’s us.’ I told them he has gone out the back,” Shelton said.

Shelton said Gadbaw went out of her bathroom window and kicked out the screen to escape.

“He actually put the gun up here in this cabinet. He left the gun and went into this bathroom, which is a wreck, and went out the window,” Shelton said as she walked throughout her house.

The gun was reported stolen out of Mississippi.

Police used K-9s to search. They found Gadbaw hiding in bushes.

Heather says she is thankful for police but is now stepping up her own security.

“I wish I had a gun. I’m going to get one. If I had a gun, we wouldn’t have been in here for 45 minutes. I know that,” Shelton said.

Gadbaw is charged with two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of kidnapping as well as evading arrest, possession of a stolen gun, burglary, identity theft and violation of probation.

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