St. Louis family escapes captivity after signaling neighbors to call for help


by staff

Posted on November 27, 2012 at 8:44 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 28 at 11:47 AM

Family held captive

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ST. LOUIS ( -- A North St. Louis family escaped their own home Tuesday night after being held captive in a terrifying ordeal.

A woman was home with her three children at their house near San Francisco and Cora Avenues when she heard a knock at the door.

"They came to the door and asked for a person by name," said Bill Swiderski of the St. Louis Police. "The woman said she didn’t know anyone with that name, and that’s when they kicked in the door.

Two armed men stormed into the home. One suspect took the family upstairs while the other ransacked the house.

Police say the woman's fiance`came home while the robbery was in progress. As he unlocked the door and entered the home, the suspects fired a shot at him. The family was forced into the basement and held captive in their own home.

The family was able to escape the home by kicking out a basement window where the fiance was able to throw a rock through a neighbors' window, causing them to call the police.

The family was able to get to safety when the officers arrived.

SWAT officers were activated after there was some belief the suspects may still be in the home. After sweeping the house, officers concluded they had fled.

The gunmen did get away with the family’s xbox, games, and money.

Police have vague descriptions of the two gunmen but say anyone who would hold an innocent family at gunpoint is dangerous.