Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Gunman takes 3 hostages in St. Joseph, Louisiana

A gunman has reportedly taken at least three people hostage at a bank in St. Joseph, Louisiana,a small town of barely 1,000 people that straddles the state’s border with the Mississippi River.

Three held hostage in St. Joseph

The Associated Press reports that an unknown man armed with some type of automatic weapon entered the Tensas State Bank in St. Joseph Tuesday afternoon and took three employees hostage, according to Louisiana State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson.

“At this point, we don’t know if the suspect was trying to commit a robbery,” Tensas Parish Sheriff’s Office Chief Civil Deputy Neeci Gregory tells The News Star.

The employees are handcuffed inside the building and held at gunpoint according to Concordia Parish Sheriff Kenneth Hedrick, who dispatched officers to the scene and spoke with the Mississippi Natchez Democrat. Authorities said no shots were fired and no injuries have been reported at the scene.

Louisiana state police have arrested a man for breaking through a police barrier and attempting to gain entry to the bank. They said he was not detained in connection with the hostage situation.

Volunteer fireman Danny Lance directs traffic away from Tensas State Bank, where three hostages are being held. . EMERALD MCINTYRE/THE NEWS-STARThe names of the hostages have not been released, although multiple outlets report two women and one man have been held for over two hours.

A bomb squad and SWAT team are also on hand, where approximately 100 state and regional law enforcement vehicles have assembled.

The LSP told KNOE that a five mile flight restriction zone was instituted over the bank. Whether the suspect armed with an explosive device is unknown.

The situation is still developing, but the AP says the Federal Bureau of Investigation is on the scene, as is as a negotiator with the state police.

Police: Three hostages, one gunman in St. Joseph bank.
Louisiana State Police have placed an aerial perimeter around St. Joseph on Tuesday afternoon, preventing any flights within a 5-mile radius up to 5,000 feet of thee bank where three people are being held hostage.

State police have confirmed there are three hostages and one gunman in Tensas State Bank in St. Joseph.

Negotiators are on the scene Tuesday afternoon and have made contact with the gunman. State police SWAT vehicles, U.S. marshal vehicles, Tensas Parish deputies, and officials from Rapides, Franklin and Concordia parish sheriff’s offices are on the scenes. A Rapides K-9 unit arrived at about 4:30 p.m.

Officers from state police and the marshal’s office are milling around in SWAT gear, and a helicopter has been seen flying overhead.

There are no reported injuries at this time.

Police have cordoned off the bank, preventing people from getting within a quarter mile of the bank. At about 4 p.m., a vehicle broke through the perimeter and was driven toward the bank. The driver was stopped at gunpoint and taken into custody. The identification of the driver or his connectionw the ongoing hostage scene was unclear.

Family members of some of those being held hostage say they had heard the gunman has given authorities 10 hours to adhere to his demands. It was not clear what is demands were.

State police have diverted traffic off Louisiana 128 and onto Louisiana 897-6.

Tensas Parish Sheriff’s Office Chief Civil Deputy Neeci Gregory said, “At this point, we don’t know if the suspect was trying to commit a robbery.”

Tensas Parish deputies were first to respond to the scene, at about noon.
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