NATIONAL NEWS

A SWAT team sniper killed a bank hostage-taker armed with a knife, sheriff says

Feb 6, 2024, 12:33 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — A deputy shot and killed a man Tuesday after he took people hostage and claimed to have a bomb at a Florida bank, authorities said.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office responded to a Bank of America branch in Fort Myers shortly before noon, Sheriff Carmine Marceno said during a news conference Tuesday afternoon. Officials deployed a robodog, the SWAT team, electronic surveillance and drones.

As deputies entered the bank, dozens of people ran out, Marceno said. A man armed with a knife still had two hostages and claimed to have a bomb, the sheriff said. Negotiators were called to talk with the man, but at some point, the man put a hostage in a headlock and held a knife to her throat, Marceno said. That’s when a SWAT sniper fatally shot the man, he said.

No injuries were reported to any hostages or deputies.

Officials didn’t immediately identify the man who was killed or say whether he actually had a bomb.

The deputy who killed the man was placed on administrative leave, pending an investigation, which is normal department policy.

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