It was a "textbook case" of how to deal with a hostage-taker. Ashley Smith talked shooting suspect Brian Nichols into turning himself in. After several hours in her apartment, Nichols allowed Smith to leave, and she immediately called the police.
"To avoid this thing becoming even more crazy, it wasn't a question of who was right or wrong, but how do we get this thing taken care of, managed, so nobody else gets killed?" Robert Benjamin, a veteran conflict negotiator in Portland, Oregon told The Christian Science Monitor. "And her deft touch, unstudied as it was, was quite frankly a moment of brilliance."
Reading Smith's account of the story, it's clear that sharing her faith with Nichols did much to help them both get through the situation safely.
We went to my room. And I asked him if I could read.
He said, "What do you want to read?"
"Well, I have a book in my room." So I went and got it. I got my Bible. And I got a book called The Purpose-Driven Life.
I turned it to the chapter that I was on that day. It was Chapter 33. And I started to read the first paragraph of it. After I read it, he said, "Stop, will you read it again?"
I said, "Yeah. I'll read it again."
So I read it again to him.
It mentioned something about what you thought your purpose in life was. What were youwhat talents were you given? What gifts were you given to use?
And I asked him what he thought. And he said, "I think it was to talk to people and tell them about you."
As Nichols began to open up to Smith, she told him about her life. Smith's husband was murdered four years ago. "As a teen, she was arrested for shoplifting and was on probation for a year. Later came arrests for drunken driving, speeding, and battery," according to CBS News.
Two days before, ...1