Hostage standoff in Port Arthur

Police speak to the suspect’s brother and sister outside the home.

A hostage situation in Port Arthur ended peacefully after 28-year-old Walter Moore of Port Arthur took a 2-year-old captive and barricaded himself inside a home on the 2500 block of 61st Street.

The standoff began in the early morning hours of Wednesday, Dec. 12. By the time police arrived, Moore had closed the blinds, telling police he was heavily armed with his 2-year-old niece still inside. 

At about 9 a.m., Jefferson County Constable Eddie Collins said Moore traded one of his weapons, a shotgun, for a cigarette. 

“Most communication is open with him,” Collins said. “The SWAT team is talking to him, and I think they might get ready to call in a psychiatrist to talk to him. We don’t want any bloodshed, nobody hurt, especially that 2-year-old baby that’s in there.”

At about 10 a.m., Collins said the man was hungry and might trade one of his weapons for some food. 

Still armed with at least two assault rifles, a handgun and at least one home-made bomb, police said they weren't taking any chances with Moore, who had attempted suicide at least once in months prior. 

Schools in the area, including Memorial 9th Grade Academy, were immediately evacuated and their students sent home. 

By about 2:30, Moore allowed the 2-year-old to exit the home and at approximately 4:40, the standoff was over when Moore surrendered himself to police more than eight hours after the crisis had begun.