Gunman, woman dead after salon standoff

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A man took his two young children from a babysitter’s home at gunpoint then apparently killed himself inside a South Dakota hair salon Tuesday after officers found an employee shot to death in a car in the salon parking lot.

The man released the children and four employees after entering the Cost Cutters salon that sits in a strip mall along a busy Sioux Falls street about 1:30 p.m., Police Sgt. Loren McManus said.

Officers discovered the man dead of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound shortly after 4 p.m., McManus said.

The man had earlier arrived at the babysitter’s home and repeatedly brandished a weapon before taking the children, both of whom are younger than 2, McManus said.

About five minutes after the babysitter called authorities, police received a call about a wreck about two miles away in the salon parking lot. Officers arrived to discover a woman in her early 20s dead of a gunshot wound inside the vehicle. McManus later identified the woman as Cost Cutters employee Amanda Connors.

McManus said he was unsure of Connors’ relationship to the man, but said she was not the mother of the children. It is believed the children’s mother also works at the salon, he said.

Businesses around the salon were evacuated and two nearby schools were locked down for hours amid the standoff.

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