NEWS

Kamloops hostage victim describes her ordeal

05/22/2012 03:13 EDT | Updated 07/22/2012 05:12 EDT

The woman held hostage during a six-hour standoff in Kamloops, B.C., last week says she's still recovering from the ordeal but is grateful to be alive.

"Things are going slow. I often feel quite numb and it seems still quite surreal that something actually happened that night," Sherry Young told CBC News.

"I have a lot of support here ... just taking it slow, one day at a time. It's hard to function right now."

Young was taken hostage by Dennan Bruce Crosby, a man she knew through work, for more than six hours late on the night of May 17. Crosby eventually released Young and set off explosives that killed him and sparked a fire that destroyed Young's home.

Young said Crosby accosted her as she and her four children, along with her boyfriend and his two children, were arriving home.

"I knew immediately that something was very wrong. The look on his face that day was very scary. He was unshaven, he had a very wild look in his eyes and very, very aggressive," she said.

"Seeing that look on his face, I just wanted him away from my kids very quickly before anything escalated."

'He did not plan to come out alive'

Young attempted to usher her children inside the home, but Crosby pushed his way inside as Young tried to close the door.

"I didn't realize that he had a gun until it accidentally went off," she said. "When I tried to shut the door on him, it caused his finger to pull the trigger."

At that point, Young says, the situation spiralled out of control.

"He had come on a death wish and I knew it at that point. That once he stepped into the house, once he crossed that line, he did not plan to come out alive," she said.

"His words were, to me, that I had f---ed up his life and he was going to make sure that I didn't do that to anybody else."

While Young was dragged into the furnace room, her boyfriend David Madore escaped and ran next door to call 911.

"I had to leave the house with my [daughters] inside. I knew that decision was the only decision to be made because I was the only threat," Madore said.

Meanwhile, Young's 11-year-old son escaped out the back door and ran to Canadian Tire to call police, while her 13-year-old daughter pulled the younger children out of the house safely — carrying Madore's young daughter on her back.

"She will always be my hero for that," Madore said.

Crosby had 'bag of explosives'

Young, meanwhile, was being held inside the home while Crosby waited to speak with a police negotiator.

"He wanted to talk and I think that was the main reason he didn't act right away, because he wanted to get his story out, he wanted to tell his feelings, he wanted to tell me how angry he was at me and the things that I had done that brought him to this point," she said.

"A lot of time was spent with him going through his weapons and his bag of explosives, and he showed me the harness of his explosives on his chest. He made me watch a video on his phone of when he had tested the detonation of these, he showed me different things in his bag of plans that he had to torture me before he blew us up."

Young says Crosby threatened to light her on fire, handcuff her, and spray her with bear spray before snapping the natural gas line to blow up the house.

"A lot of his energy was taunting me and telling me how serious this was and that he wasn't joking," she said. "I was terrified."

But just as Crosby was about to arm a bomb, the police negotiator called.

"The negotiator kept him talking for the next five hours," she said. "After about four hours, I began to have hope because Dennan's tone started to change."

'Eventually it was done'

The police negotiator eventually convinced Crosby to release Young.

"I knew that he was going to blow himself up. I just knew that I had to get out of there. I was very confident that he was not going to do it until I was safe," she said.

"It was good to be out and I just had to follow a voice and walk towards the voice and do what they say. And eventually it was done."

The home exploded a short time later. Crosby's body was pulled from the rubble Saturday and officials say an autopsy will not be performed.

According to Young, Crosby would have killed her and her four children if Madore and his kids hadn't been there.

"It's the first words out of her mouth when we were reunited. She looked me straight in the eye and said, 'You saved my life and my four children,'" Madore said.

'Completely blindsided'

While Young acknowledges she had rebuffed Crosby's advances on several occasions, she had no idea he would ever harm her or her family.

"It completely blindsided me. It gives me an indication that anyone pushed to that limit can be capable of that," she said.

"Dennan wasn't a violent person, he was hardly aggressive, he just had trouble moving on and it just pushed him to the point where he couldn't take it anymore."

Now, Young and Madore both say they're focused on the future.

"The next step is to look for a place and rebuild our lives, just move on," Young said.

Madore, meanwhile, says he's just "grateful for today."

"We saw the worst that night, and we've seen nothing but the best since. This community has been so supportive," he said. "We will move on. We have been given hope that life will get better."

While the couple has only been dating for about a month, both say they are planning a future together.

"I'm not letting him go anywhere," Young joked.

"I've already told her, 'Nice try in getting rid of me, but it's not going to work,'" Madore added.

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