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Calif. Bank Hostage Freed After Shootout

Suspect, 3 officers injured
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2012 2:20 AM CST
Calif. Bank Hostage Freed After Shootout
A Buena Park police officer suits up in his SWAT gear outside the Saehan Bank.   (AP Photo/The Orange County Register, Bruce Chambers)

(Newser) – A woman taken hostage by a bank robber in California escaped unharmed after a shootout that injured the robber and three SWAT team members. During an hours-long standoff at the Orange County bank, the suspect freed six other employees, but refused to let the female bank manager leave. Bullets started flying when the suspect came out the front door holding the woman at gunpoint.

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"It's quite an intense moment when somebody comes out the door with a gun to a hostage," Buena Park's chief of police tells KABC. "Those were split-second decisions that they needed to make, and our main concern is the welfare and the safety of that hostage." Police say the suspect—whom they describe as a "very angry person"—suffered serious injuries in the shootout, but remained uncooperative even as he was being taken to hospital. (Read more California stories.)

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