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Man shot after allegedly taking hostage at Southern California bank

From Traci Tamura, CNN
updated 9:35 PM EST, Thu March 1, 2012
Police on the scene at Saehan Bank branch in Buena Park, about 20 miles southeast of Los Angeles.
Police on the scene at Saehan Bank branch in Buena Park, about 20 miles southeast of Los Angeles.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: "The hostage is safe," police say
  • Police say an armed man entered a Saehan Bank branch in Buena Park
  • 10 employees, customers got out, leaving the suspect and bank manager
  • Police said shots were fired and "the suspect is down"

Buena Park, California (CNN) -- A hostage situation in a Southern California bank ended abruptly Thursday when the suspect was shot, police said.

Aerial footage showed a person being carried on a stretcher through broken glass that earlier had been the window for a Saehan Bank branch in Buena Park, about 20 miles southeast of Los Angeles. Emergency personnel could be seen attending to a person -- who appeared to be shirtless, bloodied and not moving -- before the person was taken away by ambulance.

Around that time, Buena Park police Officer Andy Luong said, "Shots have been fired, (and) the suspect is down."

It was not immediately clear what had happened, and the wounded person's condition also was unknown. Luong described the suspect then as "still uncooperative."

A short time later, Luong said that "the hostage is safe" and the alleged kidnapper had been apprehended.

Buena Park police said earlier that authorities got 911 calls shortly after 11 a.m. (2 p.m. ET) from customers who saw a man enter the bank with a gun.

Bank employees also called police to report the largely silent gunman was walking around the bank, which serves predominantly Korean customers, according to Buena Park police Sgt. Bill Kohanek.

A bank employee called 911 early on, helping negotiate the release of about 10 employees, customers and a security guard, police said. Kohanek said that, for a time, authorities were able to communicate with the hostage taker.

"He complied in all but one (case): He asked the bank manager to remain with him," the police sergeant said.

The armed suspect was described, by police, as a man of Asian descent who was approximately 45 years old. The bank manager was a woman of about the same age.

Authorities created a buffer zone between one-quarter and one-half mile of the small storefront bank, which is located in a strip mall next to a dentist's office. A Buena Park SWAT team was on hand and an FBI team was also ready to act, Kohanek said.

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