Hostage situation under way in Northern Marianas

3:12 pm on 11 March 2020

A hostage situation on the Northern Marianas island of Saipan has lasted through the night and shows no signs of resolution.

Gordon Aldan Castro took his partner hostage at gunpoint when police tried to execute a warrant of arrest against him shortly after midday yesterday.

CNMI police car

CNMI police car Photo: Supplied

The arrest warrant is connected to Mr Castro taking his own family hostage for seven hours in 2015.

To keep 50 local and federal law enforcement officers away, Castro fired shots in the air.

This morning, law enforcement officers were still at the scene.

Police say Mr Castro initially disconnected the phone line but reconnected it to request food and drink.

Negotiations are ongoing with police communicating via megaphone.

Six shots could be heard in the area early this morning.

Nearby residents have been evacuated and are being asked to stay away until police say it is safe to return.

Schools in the immediate vicinity have suspended classes.

Police also asked parents to not allow their children near or around the area for their safety.