TRENTON - When a man who had allegedly just killed his wife and son was holding three other children in a Trenton home on May 10, hostage negotiators stepped in to establish communication with the suspect.
Gerald Murphy, armed with a knife and what turned out to be a toy gun, held police at bay for almost 37 hours.
Throughout that time, negotiators like, State Police Sgt. Shaun Gregorson, had one goal. "Just have him keep talking," Gregorson says. "When he's talking, he's not hurting."
Other members of the negotiation team work to take notes, gather information about the suspect and act as a coach to the lead negotiator.
Late Saturday night, state troopers finally rushed the bedroom of the home and killed Murphy.
It was not the peaceful outcome the negotiators were looking for, but they are satisfied that the hostages were saved. "You always second-guess yourself," Lt. Mark Rowe says. "Should I have said that, should I have done this?"
Each member of the team has police assignments outside of crisis negotiation, and needs to be available at any time.