'We feared for a life for a little while'; Jefferson Co man alle - KMOV.com

'We feared for a life for a little while'; Jefferson Co man allegedly holds neighbors hostage

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Kylie Kunzie, 45, allegedly held two people hostage in Imperial on May 2 (Credit: Jefferson Co. Sheriff's Office) Kylie Kunzie, 45, allegedly held two people hostage in Imperial on May 2 (Credit: Jefferson Co. Sheriff's Office)

IMPERIAL, Mo. (KMOV.com) – An Imperial man is accused of holding his neighbors hostage after setting his house on fire Wednesday morning.

According to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Kylie Kunzie, 45, set fire to his house in the 1100 block of Wolf Hollow Road and then went to a neighboring residence on Hulda Drive around 7 a.m. When he got to the house on Hulda Drive, the homeowners let him inside to use their phone.

"We've been having our stepson live with us and he's a paranoid schizophrenic with PTSD and I guess he just kind of lost it yesterday. Set my place on fire then came over here to my neighbors and held them hostage for a bit," said Kunzie's father-in-law, Charles Koffman.

Once inside the neighbor's home, Kunzie allegedly took the man and woman hostage.

"Yeah we feared for a life for a little while. I was trying to rationalize with him but he just wasn't in the mood for that," said Richard Kurtzborn.

When a deputy arrived at the scene the suspect was seen holding a kitchen knife to the male victim, officials said.  The deputy was reportedly able to speak with Kunzie and negotiate the release of the female victim.

After releasing the female victim, Kunzie, still holding a knife to the male victim, took him onto the front porch of the home, near where the initial deputy was. The deputy then grasped the victim by the wrist and pulled him away from the suspect, who then retreated back inside the residence.

"Yeah, I'm very thankful the officer saved my life. I never did get the chance to thank him," said Kurtzborn.

Once back inside, officials continued negotiations with Kunzie, who was seen holding a rifle. Several minutes later, the suspect surrendered to deputies and was taken into custody.

Kunzie has been charged with arson second, two counts of armed criminal action and two counts of kidnapping. He is being held on a $100,000 cash-only bond.

Kunzie was released from prison eleven months ago after serving 25 years. Koffman said he'd spent most of his life in prison and wanted to go back because he felt uncomfortable on the outside.

"He told us when he came to live with us that this isn't home, prison's home," said Koffman.

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