Police: Standoff at Houston-area bank ends

January 1, 2011 04:32

PEARLAND, Texas — A standoff at a suburban Houston bank where two masked gunmen took seven hostages and three other people hid in a closet ended peacefully Friday after a negotiation of more than four hours.

The last two hostages and the second suspect inside the Chase Bank branch left the building about 4 p.m. local time, Pearland Police Lt. Onesmio Lopez said.

Lopez called the removal of the last gunman, accomplished with the help of a diversionary device that simulated gunfire, a successful end to a long day for negotiators.

"They talked him out," he said.

Also at the end, police brought out three bank employees who had been hiding in a closet. Lopez said police knew that the employees were hiding but never mentioned it publicly to ensure their safety.

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