10-Year-Old Hostage Used as a Human Shield: ‘I Just Knew God Had Me’

By Nancy Flory Published on January 18, 2018

A 10-year-old little boy was held hostage in Liberty Township, Ohio for 30 hours but only got a “little bit scared,” and said, “I just knew that God had me.”

The Argument

Sincere Trammell’s ordeal began on Friday when his captor, long-time family friend 31-year-old Donald Gazaway, Jr., demanded money from Sincere’s mother. When his mom refused, Gazaway put a gun to her head.

“When I walked in there, I saw him having a gun to my mom’s head and kept saying give me $10,000 now,” said Sincere. When Sincere tried to leave the room, Gazaway ran after him. According to Sincere, it was “because he thought I had a phone, and then she (mom) ran out the door.”

Moments later, police arrived.

The Standoff

During the ordeal, Gazaway used Sincere as a “human shield” as Gazaway fired 20 to 30 bullets at police and SWAT members, according to Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones.

Over the 30-hour standoff, Gazaway and Sincere spent much of their time hiding in closets and in the back seat of a car in the garage.

“He kept saying in the car that he was going to let me go, regardless,” said Sincere.”I convinced him to turn himself in because he was going to kill himself and he kept crying. He was saying that he had two options, and then he said he was going to kill himself or turn himself in, and he kept saying he might kill himself, so I told him how I was feeling. I wouldn’t like that, and he has two daughters who would feel bad.”

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Sincere tried to talk Gazaway into turning himself in, as jail would be a better choice.

“I said that jail would probably help you get better at life, and that would be a better option to do. So I said it’s better to have a punishment than kill yourself, and I’m saying that God basically will give you another chance to become a better person in life,” Sincere said.

Shortly afterward, when Gazaway finally surrendered to police, he again used Sincere as a human shield.

‘I Just Knew That God Had Me’

SWAT team members quickly took Sincere out of harm’s way. A picture of Sincere right after the ordeal showed him sitting with SWAT team members and eating a doughnut.

On Tuesday, Sincere spoke about the event to a reporter. When asked what kept him calm, Sincere replied, “I just knew that God had me.”

Gazaway is now being held in the Butler County Jail. He was charged with kidnapping, felonious assault and inducing panic. His bond was set at $1 million.

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