East Orange police standoff ends peacefully

Police say a standoff ended peacefully Friday with the arrest of an armed man and the safe release of the hostages he was holding.

Police surrounded a North 19th Street apartment around 8 a.m. Friday after reports of a shot fired. Authorities say when police arrived, 31-year-old Daniel Baxter was holding his ex-wife, their 11-month-old daughter, his sister-in-law and his ex-wife?s friend hostage.

East Orange police, along with Essex County sheriffs deputies, closed off a four-square block radius, evacuated the apartment building and put 4th Avenue School on lockdown during the standoff.

Authorities say Baxter fired two shots from a 9 mm pistol during the incident. Hostage negotiators were able to convince Baxter to release his sister-in-law and ex-wife?s friend after two hours. Four hours later, negotiators convinced Baxter to release his ex-wife and their daughter.

Baxter is currently in the county jail. He faces a slew of charges, including possession of a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child. His ex-wife is recovering from a face injury at the hospital.

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