Expatica news

Bank hostage drama ends peacefully

26 May 2004

MADRID – A would-be bank robber who held hostages at gun-point was persuaded to give himself up by police negotiators after six hours Wednesday.

The gunman, who said he was Romanian, was arrested and three hostages were released without injury.

They were released just after 6pm, six hours after the siege started at the branch of the BBVA bank in  Alcalá de Henares, near Madrid Wednesday.

The drama started just after 12pm when the gunman walked into the bank, pulled out at gun and ordered the hostages not to move.

He told the the customers: “On the floor, on the floor, give me the money!.”

At first he took ten people hostage, but later released seven of them.

He called EFE news agency by telephone and demanded EUR 50,000 in cash and and translator.

Armed police had surrounded the building and officers from the elite GEO unit, which normally deals with terrorist incidents started negotiating with the gunman.

The shocked hostages, who were released, said the kidnapper had two guns.

One woman later told journalists: “He was like Keanu Reeves in a Matrix film.”

The kidnapper said he has been in Spain for about four months, is an illegal immigrant and had been working on building sites.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news