(WMC-TV) – For nearly the entire day, blue lights were part of the scenery in a small Whitehaven community.
For several hours, Memphis police, and SWAT, armed with rifles surrounded a Memphis home…and the ordeal is still unfolding.
The situation began earlier this afternoon in the 1300 block of Mary Jane Ave. in Whitehaven.
Police will not say how much longer negotiations will continue but tell us the man inside does not have a weapon and there is no indication the child with him is in any danger.
Giving instruction by loud-speaker, Memphis police asked residents on Mary Jane drive to move further away from an active hostage situation.
"They had the guns pointed at the house," said witness Robert Boddie. "The swat team is moving in as well," he added.
The initial call to police reported a man with a small child inside refused to come out of his home.
Memphis police intervention teams then moved in, barricading the home.
Sandra Owens says before this, residents in the small community have always felt secure.
"It's what we call a safehaven for the kids in Whitehaven," said Owens.
More than 9 hours later as day turned to night, Freeman Buckley and other neighbors watched as SWAT teams continued negotiations.
"It's been going on all day," said Buckley. "They say the guy was on medication and he wasn't taking his medicine so I can understand that for the safety of child them not going in and I'm sure if it wasn't for that it would've been over," he added.
Others said it was disappointing to see the situation linger on so long.
"For the kids to see anything like this, it's scary," Owens added.
Action News 5 was informed by family members that the child is around 5 or 6 years old and is the daughter of the man inside.
At this point, it appears the negotiations will continue throughout the night.