Police Kill Maryland Robbery Suspect, Hostage Escapes

Police were able to capture the suspect, seen here, after he tripped over a pile of snow. The woman managed to escape. (

Police were able to capture the suspect, seen here, after he tripped over a pile of snow. The woman managed to escape. (

TAKOMA PARK, Md. -- A suspect who took a bank teller hostage during a robbery Friday in Maryland was shot and killed by police after he walked outside using the woman as a shield.

When the man walked out of the Capital One bank branch in a Washington suburb, he was holding a gun to the woman's head. It also appeared he had a bomb taped to him, police said.
Officers were already outside the bank as the suspect walked out.

Video shows him backing away from police with the woman when the suspect tripped over a pile of snow from Wednesday's storm. The woman ran away from the suspect toward police and held her hands up to cover her ears.

Gunfire erupted shortly afterward. Takoma Park Police Chief Ronald Ricucci said the suspect was killed.

Police from at least three jurisdictions had responded to the scene because Takoma Park is near the border of Montgomery and Prince George's counties. The city also has its own police force.

"From our point of view, it looks like it was a successful resolution," said Prince George's County police Maj. Andy Ellis, adding that three of his officers fired at the suspect. "Things were changing very quickly, and the officers had to make split-second decisions."

Besides the device that looked like a bomb strapped to the suspect, a suspicious device also was reported inside the bank. Both ended up being plastic foam when checked by a bomb squad, police said. But the potential for an explosion affected the response by police officers, Ellis said.

At least three people were treated for injuries that were not life-threatening. A police officer was grazed in the leg by a bullet. One person had been pistol-whipped, and another person was treated for shock, police said.

Bill Benjamin, who witnessed the incident from a nearby store, told WTTG-TV that he had walked outside to take out the trash. He said he heard three quick shots fired and saw police chase down the suspect.

Herschel Ivy, who saw the incident from across the street, told WTTG-TV that he saw the suspect's hands go up when shots were fired. Ivy said he heard seven or eight gunshots fired as the hostage ran toward police.

"She ran directly through the cordon of police officers," Ivy said. "You couldn't tell if they were firing from the left or from the right."

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