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Gunman shoots hostage in head after city-wide pursuit ends, police say

Posted at 1:05 PM, Nov 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-16 21:50:06-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- A gunman shot a hostage in the head and was then shot by Richmond Police officers following a 35-minute afternoon police pursuit that raced in and out of several city neighborhoods. Both the hostage and gunman were rushed to the hospital where they were treated for life-threatening injuries.

Gunman approached victims at a gas station

The situation unfolded at about 12:30 p.m. Monday when the gunman approached two people at the  BP gas station located along the 2600 block of E. Main Street in Richmond and asked them for money.

When the victims replied they had no money to give, the gunman forced the victims back into their vehicle at gunpoint and ordered them to take him to a bank, Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham said.

Inside the bank

Once they arrived at the Bank of America along the 1100 block of E. Main Street, the gunman ordered one of the victims to go inside and get money. Inside the bank, the victim alerted police to the situation. It was then that the gunman ordered the second hostage to drive away.

"They did everything right," Durham said.

Police pursue the gunman

Police pursued the older, gold or grey-colored SUV through the city, east to west, over to the North side, and then back downtown. A police plane tracked the vehicle as multiple units on the ground pursued.

Henrico Police deployed spike strips to slow the suspect down. Chief Durham  said pursuing officers never went faster than 35-45 miles per hour.

Pursuit ends, shots fired

About 30 minutes after initial report came in, CBS 6 crews in the field reported that the chase has stopped in Church Hill north, at 26th and R Streets. It was there, police said, the gunman shot the hostage in the head. Police returned fire and struck the gunman.

Two people were seen put on a stretcher and transported to the hospital.

Police have not yet released the name of the gunman or the victim.

There were two minor accidents during the chase, police said. One officer was injured during the gunfire exchange.

Stuart Elementary and Armstrong High School were briefly on lockdown due to the chase.

The officers will be placed on administrative leave, pending a review, as is policy in all situations where force is used, Durham said.

Richmond has seen a decrease in robberies, but an increase in firearms used in violent crimes, the chief said at Monday's press conference.