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Utah Gunman Updated Facebook During Standoff

Jason Valdez added dozen new friends during 16-hour ordeal
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2011 4:04 AM CDT

(Newser) – A Utah man spent 16 hours holding a woman hostage in a motel room over the weekend—and made at least a dozen new Facebook friends at the same time. Jason Valdez, 36, kept his Facebook page updated throughout the armed standoff with police, reports the New York Daily News. Some friends offered encouragement—one even let him know a SWAT officer was in the bushes outside his room—while others urged him to give himself up. Valdez shot himself in the chest when police stormed the room and is now in the hospital.

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Police were trying to serve Valdez with a drug warrant when he barricaded himself in the room with the woman on Friday afternoon. "I love u guyz and if I don't make it out of here alive that I'm in a better place and u were all great friends," he wrote in his first Facebook post at 11:23pm. At 2:04am, he posted two pictures of himself and the woman, along with the line, "Got a cute 'Hostage' huh." Police say they are considering filing charges against friends who tried to help him. "Facebook can be a help, but it can also be a hindrance," a spokeswoman tells ABC. "We just rolled with it." (Read more Facebook stories.)

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