US bank standoff ends; police kill armed suspect

CARY, North Carolina — A three-hour standoff at a North Carolina bank ended abruptly Thursday when police shot and killed the armed suspect after he led a hostage through the parking lot with a gun to her head.
Television footage broadcast live during the dinner hour showed the man crumple to the ground after five officers fired on him outside a Wachovia bank in Cary, a suburb about 10 miles (16 kilometers) west of Raleigh.
"This is not how we wanted this to end," Cary Police Chief Pat Bazemore said.
None of the seven hostages, including one who stayed hidden from the gunman and relayed information to police, nor the dozens of officers who surrounded the bank were injured, Bazemore said.
The standoff began around 3 p.m. when the man came inside the Wachovia and tried to rob the bank, authorities said.
Police arrived within two minutes and the man took hostages.