A 19-year-old man was gunned down by police Thursday after a tense, three-hour standoff at a bank in Cary, North Carolina.

Five police officers fired at Devon Mitchell shortly after he walked out of the Wachovia bank with a gun pressed to the head of a female hostage. He appeared to be using the slight woman as a shield to the squadron of police snipers with their guns trained, FOX WRAL reported.

“This is absolutely not how we wanted this to end,” said Chief Pat Bazemore, from the Cary Police Department.  She said that police were in “constant” communication with the man during the incident

The standoff began at 3 p.m. and police learned that he initially had seven hostages. He quickly released two before releasing an additional two later on. 

Mitchell thought he had two remaining hostages at that point, but was unaware of a third, who managed to hide from the suspect and speak with police about the conditions inside the bank, FOX WRAL reported.  

The man’s intention was for robbing the bank remains unclear.

News of the standoff apparently surprised Mitchell’s friends who say the troubled man was getting his life organized. He had just started a job and returned to high school. 

He did have a past of mental health issues.

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