BESSEMER, Ala. – A gunman killed two bank employees and wounded two others during a robbery Monday morning before being shot as he tried to take a woman hostage, authorities said.
FBI spokesman Paul Daymond said authorities believe the gunman was acting alone, although there were initial reports that a second suspect was being sought.
"It's fluid. We're looking at everything right now," he said.
Jefferson County sheriff's officers said two Wachovia bank employees were killed in the robbery, which Daymond said occurred around 9 a.m. He wasn't sure if the bank had yet opened for the day.
The FBI spokesman said a deputy was driving by the bank when he saw a man coming out with a hostage. Deputies said the man was holding a gun to the head of a woman when he tripped, was shot and captured.
The suspect, whose name was not immediately released, was taken to a hospital.
There was no immediate word on the condition of the two others who were wounded in the bank. There was also no word on whether any money was taken.
Yellow crime scene tape was stretched around the one-story white brick building on a highway at the edge of downtown Bessemer, about 15 miles southwest of Birmingham. Evidence markers were placed on the asphalt in the parking lot, and police investigators appeared to be concentrating on the main entrance.
Wachovia spokeswoman Evelyn Mitchell said bank officials were working with police and the FBI.
"It's a terrible day for Wachovia," Mitchell told The Birmingham News. "Our hearts are with our employees and their families right now."