One killed in hostage situation

BLUE SPRINGS – Police ended a hostage situation early Saturday morning that lasted through the night Friday, but one person was allegedly murdered during the ordeal.
Union County Sheriff Tommy Wilhite said David Cox Sr., 39, is being held in the Union County jail in connection with the shooting death of his estranged wife Kim Kirk Cox, 40, and the kidnapping of her two children.
Cox has not been formally charged but is being held on one count of capital murder and three counts of kidnapping.
The incident happened at the victim’s home at 2214 Highway 178 East in Blue Springs. Neighbors called police saying they’d heard gunshots coming from the home around 7 p.m. Friday. Wilhite said Kim Cox already had been shot by the time police arrived, and the suspect was holding the children, a boy and a girl, hostage.
Wilhite said all the officers on the scene were upset that the mother was not saved, but said the outcome he was expecting was much worse than what ultimately happened.
“I thought everyone in the house was going to be killed,” said Wilhite. “We kept the suspect communicating for hours but after that ended I was expecting him to hurt the children. But thanks to quick reaction from the agencies involved, they were saved and he is in custody.”
The Tupelo Police Department SWAT team and a hostage negotiator were called in to assist. After communication with Cox ended at around 3 a.m. Saturday, Tupelo Police Chief Tony Carleton said police had no choice but to go into the home to save the children.
“We had to go in and save those kids,” said Carleton, who was on the scene during the entire ordeal. “Everyone decided it was time to go in when he stopped talking to us. That kind of forced our hands and gave us no choice but to get the kids out. Unfortunately, we were too late to save the mother.”
Cox was arrested without incident after police entered the home.
Wilhite said the couple had been separated since January and Kim Cox and the children were living in Blue Springs and David Cox in Pontotoc. One of the children was David Cox’s biological child and the other his stepchild, according to Wilhite.
Formal charges are expected to be filed against Cox on Monday.

Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or danza.johnson@djournal.com.

Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal