Scoop: 20/20 IN AN INSTANT on ABC - Today, August 12, 2017

Returning for its third season, “20/20: In an Instant” retells heart-pounding, first-hand accounts of the world’s most harrowing tales of survival by bringing them to life through breathtaking dramatizations. The powerful series features gripping interviews with the people whose lives were on the line and those who were instrumental in helping them survive. Ordinary people stared death in the face and outlasted tremendous odds. What key decisions did they make to save themselves? “20/20: In an Instant” airs SATURDAY, AUGUST 12 (10:00–11:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Rebroadcast. ABC OAD: 04/24/17)

“In an Instant: Terror in the Library”

Clifford Draper, a schizophrenic veteran, jumped onto a reference desk at the Salt Lake City Public Library, announced he had a bomb and took 10 hostages. However, he got more than he bargained for by unknowingly including an off-duty cop in the mix.

Sheriff’s Lieutenant Lloyd Prescott was at the sheriff’s station across the street from the library when one of the hostages escaped and came running in. Prescott sprinted to the scene and managed to get Draper’s attention to become a hostage, planting himself on the inside of the crisis. Prescott knew right away he had to tread carefully; Draper had a dead man’s switch tethered to a bomb inside a backpack. If Draper were to release his grip for any reason, the bomb would go off. Over the next several hours, police surrounded the building, unaware they had Prescott on the inside.

Draper became tired of not being taken seriously in negotiations with authorities. To make a statement, he told a hostage to cut a cord into different lengths for all of the hostages to “draw straws” in order to see who he would shoot first. As Draper knelt down to show that hostage what she could use to cut the cord, Prescott seized the moment. Deciding it was the best time to minimize risk of serious harm to hostages should the bomb explode, Prescott brandished the gun that had been hidden under his shirt and shot five times. Prescott braced himself for the explosion, but fortunately, Draper had wired the detonator poorly and the bomb fuse never sparked. Draper was killed at the, scene and his hostages were left unharmed.

“20/20: In an Instant” is executive produced by Maria Awes and Andy Awes for Committee Films in association with ABC News’ Lincoln Square Productions. Rudy Bednar is executive producer on behalf of Lincoln Square Productions.

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