ROCKLAND — The Maine State Police tactical team was honored July 28 for its actions in ending an armed standoff at the Rankin Center housing complex last October in Rockland.

The team received an award at the ceremony held at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro for actions “above and beyond what is expected of them.”

The tactical team members responded Oct. 21, 2020, to Rockland to assist the city’s police department with a hostage situation. A man took his mother hostage inside her apartment and barricaded the door.

“For more than an hour, entry team members stood in a hallway only feet from the apartment as they listened to repeated threats from the suspect that he would kill them and his mother if they entered. Other team members evacuated residents that were unable to leave because of mobility issues. When the suspect’s threats to his mother began to escalate, they made their decision to use an explosive breaching charge and a hostage rescue was made,” the department stated.

The suspect was using his mom as a human shield, who he bound with chains on her hands and feet, according to police. The entry stunned the suspect just enough to free his hands for a second, which is when the team was able to get him into custody without using deadly force and save the hostage.

“The response was an enormous risk for the tac teams’ own lives while dealing with a barricaded door, an aggressive armed suspect who is using a hostage as a human shield,” the Maine Department of Public Safety stated in a news release.

Mark A. Hupper, 36, of Rockport, was charged with kidnapping, creating a police standoff, domestic violence aggravated assault, aggravated criminal trespass and criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon (a knife). The case remains pending in the Knox County court.