Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Ashley Smith's Story: "It was a 'textbook case' of how to deal with a hostage-taker. Ashley Smith talked shooting suspect Brian Nichols into turning himself in. After several hours in her apartment, Nichols allowed Smith to leave, and she immediately called the police.

'To avoid this thing becoming even more crazy, it wasn't a question of who was right or wrong, but how do we get this thing taken care of, managed, so nobody else gets killed?' Robert Benjamin, a veteran conflict negotiator in Portland, Oregon told The Christian Science Monitor. 'And her deft touch, unstudied as it was, was quite frankly a moment of brilliance.'

Reading Smith's account of the story, it's clear that sharing her faith with Nichols did much to help them both get through the situation safely."

"Two days before, Smith moved into the apartment where Nichols held her hostage. She works two jobs and recently completed a medical assistant course. Smith was returning from a store at 2:30 a.m. when Nichols held a gun to her back and forced her into the apartment. But by 9 that morning Smith convinced Nichols to allow her to pick up her daughter from Awana."

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