(PHOTO of Wendy Naidas) Wendy Naidas holds WSOC-TV in Charlotte, NC hostage by putting gun to her head

(Photo of Wendy Naidas above)

By Sam Foster

An unidentified women held Charlotte, NC based WSOC-TV hostage with a gun. Apparently, the woman did not point the gun at anyone but herself and the gun was not loaded. However, SWAT did need to be called and the woman was seemingly distraught by her financial situation.

A woman distraught over her financial situation walked into the lobby of a TV station during its Tuesday evening news broadcast, pulled out what turned out to be an unloaded gun and put it to her head, the station's general manager said.

The station went off the air for about an hour and the building was evacuated and locked down. No one was taken hostage or injured and police took the woman into custody, said WSOC-TV's general manager Joe Pomilla.

"I think the experience was more about protecting our employees," Pomilla said. "It's one of those things I'm thankful we had the security procedures in place. Fortunately, we came out of this unscathed and that's the most important thing."

Pomilla said the woman approached the building around 5 p.m. The station, located just north of downtown Charlotte, has two sets of doors, one of which is always locked. People who cannot show they have official business with the station are denied access.

When the woman became adamant about entering, a security guard was called over, and that's when she put the gun to her head, according to Pomilla.

Below is an interview with an eyewitness.

Update x1:

According to police. The woman did threaten a receptionist.

Police chief Rodney Monroe told WBTV that the woman threatened the receptionist and herself while they were barricaded in the building. Although police initially said the woman had fired at least one shot, Monroe later said no shots had been fired.

Update x2:

The name of the perpetrator, Wendy Naidas, was released:

Police identified the woman as 51-year-old Wendy Naidas. She was taken to Carolinas Medical Center Main for evaluation.

Update x3:

Excellent photos of the scene can be found here.

Update x4:

Looks like Wendy Naidas was all over the web. Here is her My Space and Facebook.

Update x5:

While nothing recent. Wendy Naidas does seem to have a bit of a checkered past.

Monroe said police knew little about Naidas late Tuesday. She filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in July 2000, according to a search of records conducted by the Observer. She doesn’t have a violent criminal past. She was convicted of illegally collecting unemployment benefits in 1991. She also has a speeding ticket from 1994. Her brother-in-law said Naidas is a married mother of three who lived in Germany during the 1970s while her husband was in the military. He said Tuesday night that he was baffled by the news. “Why she would do that, I don’t know,” said Kenny Naidas, who lives in Kentucky and hasn’t been in contact with Wendy Naidas for several months. “Wendy is a very nice person. She’s very quiet.”

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