10/25/2013 06:26 am ET Updated Oct 25, 2013

Drug Store Standoff: CVS Robbery Turns Into Hostage Situation In North Carolina (UPDATED)

UPDATE: The Associated Press reports:

Gunman surrenders in NC drugstore standoff after releasing hostages in failed robbery attempt.


An attempted armed robbery at a North Carolina drug store turned into a hostage situation early Friday, WCNC reported.

The unidentified gunman allegedly tried to hold up the CVS Pharmacy in Belmont, 15 miles west of Charlotte, then took three employees hostage when police arrived on the scene, CBS reported.

According to Belmont Police Sgt. John Wilson, the officers responded to reports of a robbery around 1:45 a.m. Friday. When they arrived on the scene, the armed suspect fired several shots at the officers and they returned fire, WFMY News reported.

Multiple state and local police agencies, including the Gastonia Police Department Regional SWAT team, were called to the store. Shortly after 4 a.m., hostage negotiators managed to secure the release of three hostages.

At the time of this writing, the gunman is still inside the store.

This is a developing story. More to come…