Nine hostages held in a Brooklyn, New York, sporting goods store by four gunmen who had earlier killed a police officer, escaped on Sunday (21 January) after a two-day ordeal.
GV EXT Police with guns sheltering in buildings & behind cars (3 shots)
GV People and police running for cover under fire (2 shots)
GV & SV Armed police (2 shots)
GV Hostage exits with arms raised, picks up radio and re-enters building
SCU Police listen to radio programme (2 shots)
GV PAN Police outside entrance
Initials ESP/2231 ESP/2245
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Nine hostages held in a Brooklyn, New York, sporting goods store by four gunmen who had earlier killed a police officer, escaped on Sunday (21 January) after a two-day ordeal.
The nine hostages,six men and three women, broke free from the building after being left unattended for a few moments by their captors. The black gunmen later gave themselves up.
The drama began on Friday night (19 January) when the gunmen tried to rob the store. An alarm went off, bringing police to the scene.
Eleven employees and customers were seized as hostages, but two were later released. In an exchange of gunfire, a police officer was wounded. Further shooting followed as police reinforcements poured in. A second police officer was shot dead, while a third policeman and one of the gunmen was wounded.
The four had described themselves as "rebels involved in a only war and said they were "establishing solidarity with all Muslims and oppressed people of the world."
As the police siege of the building went into the second day, one of the hostages emerged from the building with his hands over his head to pick up a portable radio transmitter which the police had slid along the pavement.
The radio enabled police to talk with the gunmen but they refused to negotiate or release the hostages.
SYNOPSIS: More than three-hundred armed police surround a sports goods ore in Brooklyn, New York, as four black gunmen hold hostage nine shop workers and customers after an abortive hold-up attempt.
The drama began on Friday when the four men tried to rob the store. An alarm brought police rushing to the scene. Eleven hostages were seized but two were later released. Shots were fired in which a police officer was killed and two others were wounded. One bandit also was wounded. One hostage was sent out by the gunmen to pick up a portable radio transmitter left by police.
The four gunmen described themselves as rebels involved in a holy war, and said they were establishing solidarity with all Muslims and oppressed people of the world. Although police talked to them over the radio link, the four refused to negotiate or to release the hostages.
Police were forced to remain in position outside the building for more than forth hours, before the hostages ... six of whom were men ...managed to elude their captors.