Possible hostage situation in Laurel resolved
Update: 7:10 a.m Police are still searching for a gunman who attempted to hold up a Giant Food store Sunday night. WUSA reports that a SWAT team search of the supermarket failed to find the suspected gunman or any hostages.
Heavily armed members of SWAT teams were combing through the two-level Giant Food store in Laurel early this morning, searching for a would-be robber who may have taken a hostage, authorities said.
Teams from the Laurel city police and the Greenbelt police had found nothing in the upper level of the store, and were going to search the lower level, Laurel police spokesman Jim Collins said, a few minutes after midnight Monday morning.
Collins said it remained unclear whether any of the store’s employees was unaccounted for.
Earlier: An armed man who tried to hold up a supermarket in Laurel may still be inside, holding employees or customers hostage, police said Sunday night.
Laurel city police were preparing to enter the Giant Food store late Sunday, according to a police spokesman. Jim Collins, the spokesman, said about 10:30 p.m. that it was not clear whether anyone remained in the store at the Laurel Shopping Center.
He said the incident began about 8:30 p.m. when the would-be robber confronted the store manager and demanded that he open the store safe. However, Collins said, the manager fled and locked himself inside a walk-in cooler.
At that point, Collins said, the robber grabbed someone else and demanded to know where the safe was. Meanwhile, Collins said, customers and employees in the store began to leave, after they sensed a problem.
He said that shortly after 10 p.m., SWAT team members managed to enter the store and rescue the manager, who had called on a cell phone.
-- Martin Weil
| March 14, 2010; 10:33 PM ET
Categories: Crime and Public Safety, Maryland
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