Former hostage relives situation - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

Former hostage relives situation

"All of a sudden, we hear Mrs. Blanton yelling outside. We didn't know what was going on," said Whit Jordan. "All of a sudden, we hear Mrs. Blanton yelling outside. We didn't know what was going on," said Whit Jordan.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

For a Huntsville man, the hostage situation in Midland City brings back chilling memories.

Back in 1988, he and a hundred other students were held hostage at West End Christian School in Tuscaloosa. And 25 years later, a former child hostage shares his story and the difficult road he said still lies ahead for little Ethan.

For Whit Jordan, February 2, 1988 started off just like any other school day, but that would soon change.

He said a student came into his classroom telling the teacher, Mrs. Blanton, that someone wanted to see her, so she stepped outside.

"All of a sudden, we hear Mrs. Blanton yelling outside. We didn't know what was going on," said Jordan.

That is when James Harvey, strapped with a machine gun, and another man burst into his classroom. He proceeded to tie up Blanton.

"She said, 'Do exactly what they tell you to do,'" said Jordan.

He said Harvey addressed the terrified students, telling them why he was doing all this - that he was concerned with the treatment of homeless veterans. By this time, many of the students were crying.

"I didn't know what to do think. This guy is in here with guns, and I know it's a bad situation, but I don't know what to do," he said.

He said the students gathered in a little circle as negotiators, in the classroom at this point, tried to reason with Harvey.

After 12 hours of negotiations, a fake pardon by then Governor Hunt and the belief that he would be able to hold a national news conference to vent his political ideas prompted Harvey to turn over his guns.

The memories of those 12 hours as a hostage are still with Whit Jordan.

"It goes through your mind, 'What if?' They even told us you'll never be able to get rid of that," he said.

Now a father to an 8-year-old son, he said he knows exactly what little Ethan will go through in the next days, weeks, and months.

"He's going to want his parents to be real close to him at all times. He's going to be scared to go back to school. He's going to go through some things that are tough on him just because of that fear factor," said Jordan.

Fortunately, no one was hurt in the Tuscaloosa hostage case. James Harvey is currently in the Limestone Correction Facility. He is up for parole February 26th.

As for Whit Jordan, he served 27 months of duty in Iraq. He currently works for City Lumber in Huntsville and is set to marry his fiancée next month in Jamaica. They will continue to reside in Huntsville.

Copyright 2013 WAFF. All rights reserved.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Powerball jackpot soars to $700M

    Powerball jackpot soars to $700M

    Tuesday, August 22 2017 1:34 PM EDT2017-08-22 17:34:53 GMT
    Tuesday, August 22 2017 1:34 PM EDT2017-08-22 17:34:53 GMT

    What would you do with a few hundred million?

    More >>

    What would you do with a few hundred million?

    More >>
  • Ronald McDonald Food Program searching for more help

    Ronald McDonald Food Program searching for more help

    Tuesday, August 22 2017 12:27 PM EDT2017-08-22 16:27:18 GMT

    The Ronald McDonald Food Program needs donations to help out families. The Program accepts volunteers every day to help do small tasks for families going through difficult times. And sometimes just  being there gives these families a reason to smile. "When you think about what these families are going through, this is just a small thing we can do to help these families. 

    More >>

    The Ronald McDonald Food Program needs donations to help out families. The Program accepts volunteers every day to help do small tasks for families going through difficult times. And sometimes just  being there gives these families a reason to smile. "When you think about what these families are going through, this is just a small thing we can do to help these families. 

    More >>
  • TRAFFIC ALERT: Crash temporarily detours traffic

    TRAFFIC ALERT: Crash temporarily detours traffic

    Tuesday, August 22 2017 11:06 AM EDT2017-08-22 15:06:48 GMT
    Wrightsboro Rd.  wreck; Source: WFXGWrightsboro Rd. wreck; Source: WFXG

    A traffic accident is causing traffic to be detoured for a while. The crash happened at about 9:30 a.m. at the intersection of Wrightsboro Rd. and the Bobby Jones Expressway on-ramp. It involved 4 vehicles and was...

    More >>

    A traffic accident is causing traffic to be detoured for a while. The crash happened at about 9:30 a.m. at the intersection of Wrightsboro Rd. and the Bobby Jones Expressway on-ramp. It involved 4 vehicles and was...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly