Fla. Murder Suspect Releases 2 Kids

Monday, July 24th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A murder suspect remained holed up with three hostages in a suburban home early Monday as a standoff with sheriff's deputies entered a third day.

Two hostages, an 8-year-old boy and a girl under 1, were released Sunday unharmed. The suspect, Jamie Dean Petron, 41, had asked police to see the children reunited with their parents on live television after releasing them. Local news stations aired the footage shortly after their release.

A woman in her 40s, a 16-year-old girl and a 9-month-old girl remained inside the home, police said.

``He's reminded us very adamantly that he has hostages and he won't hesitate to harm them,'' Orange County sheriff's spokesman Jim Solomons said.

Petron said he would release the other hostages after the tape of a statement he made was aired, police said, but he continued to hold them Sunday night.

On the tape, Petron said he didn't mean to hurt anyone.

``All I can say is deep in my heart I am really apologetic. Don't think I'm the devil, I'm not the devil,'' he said.

The standoff began Saturday, when authorities said Petron burst into the home in the Meadow Woods subdivision, south of Orlando, and took the family hostage. He apparently did not know the family.

He allegedly fled to the house after shooting an Orange County sheriff's deputy in the leg as the deputy tried to arrest him outside a nearby grocery store. Petron is suspected in the Friday shooting death of a Pompano Beach convenience store clerk, authorities said.

Police said Petron had demanded food and ``other things,'' but did not release details.

After Petron stopped answering the phone early Monday, police then used a robot, which has a built-in speaker and microphone, to try to communicate with him.

But Petron became agitated with the robot and opened fire on it, Solomons said. The robot was not hit.

Before the shots were fired, Solomons said the robot recorded some of the hostages crying and one of the hostages screaming, ``He's going to kill me.''

Petron continued negotiating with police after a SWAT officer shot at him Sunday but missed. He has said someone in the house is injured, though police could not confirm whether it was true.

``I'm sure he wants the right thing done,'' Petron's attorney, Spencer Bryant Siegel, said Sunday after talking to his client by phone. ``Probably the biggest thing preventing him from coming out is the fear of the unknown.''

On Saturday, Petron shot at a 28-year-old man as he escaped the home, grazing the man's head, authorities said.

Petron is suspected of killing Jorge Trillos, 22, during a convenience store robbery Friday in Pompano Beach. Trillos' boss, Samir Hantash, 48, was seriously wounded.

Deputies located Petron about noon Saturday at a grocery store, but Petron rammed a sheriff's vehicle and shot Deputy Scott Winters in the leg, authorities said. Winters, 26, was treated and released.

Records show Petron was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 1986 for attempted first-degree murder, forgery and battery on a law enforcement officer. He was released from prison on Dec. 10, 1995.