An armed robber surrendered and is in custody following an hours-long standoff in which he exchanged fire with cops and took three people hostage inside a North Carolina CVS store early Friday.
No injuries were reported, police said.
Officials identified the gunman as Edward Scott Russ, 46, of Gastonia, N.C., and said the man was armed with a semi-automatic rifle.
Russ fired "several shots" at officers responding to reports of a hold-up at an outlet in Belmont, N.C., around 1:45 a.m. ET. The shots narrowly missed the officers, NBC Charlotte station WCNC reported, adding that Russ's weapon would have rendered the officers' body armor useless.
Edward Scott Russ is being questioned after an armed robbery in Belmont, N.C., on Friday morning.
Police returned fire before becoming aware of hostages inside the shop.
The officers then called for backup, including the Gastonia Police Department Regional SWAT team.
The surrounding area was sealed off as police negotiated with the gunman.
The last one of three adult hostages was released at 4:07 a.m. ET, according to police. However, the gunman remained inside the shop for about three hours longer.
"[The hostages] were not harmed, he kept them there, spoke to them for a while," Chief Charlie Franklin of the Belmont Police Department told WCNC. "He released two, held one, and we finally negotiated [with] him to let that one go, also.”
Belmont is about 15 miles west of Charlotte.
First published October 25 2013, 12:06 PM