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Tense hours-long hostage drama in Brooklyn check cashing store ends peacefully

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A hostage situation at a Brooklyn check cashing store by a lone gunman ended peacefully Saturday night after a few tense hours before the gunman surrendered.

Police said the gunman entered the money transfer, check cashing and money exchange store in Bushwick about 7:45 p.m., initially posing as a customer, then announced a robbery, displaying a handgun.

Two workers and a customer were inside at the time, but an employee managed to escape and called 911, sending police from the 83 Precinct and other units racing to the two-story attached store at 300-302 Irving Ave., along a local shopping strip.

Realizing he was surrounded, police said the robber barricaded the front door with several chairs.

At that point, NYPD hostage negotiators began a dialogue with him that lasted more than two hours, including bringing the man’s brother into the talks.

NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey said at a press conference outside the store that the gunman had “money and gambling problems” that may have led him to attempt robbing the business..

At two points, the robber pointed his gun at Emergency Services cops outside, who held their fire, and at one of the hostages inside. Police said the bungling bandit, not immediately identified, eventually agreed to surrender, climbing out of a second-floor rear window and down a ladder to surrender to waiting cops with their guns drawn.

Police said his weapon turned out to be a fake gun.

The 38-year-old gunman, who was hyperventilating, and the two hostages were taken to area hospitals for examination, just to be on the safe side, cops said.

The incident brought to mind another hostage situation in Bushwick on Jan.19, 1973, when four Black militants, looking to steal weapons from John & Al’s Sporting Goods Store at 927 Broadway, took hostages and held off cops for 47 hours, killing one officer and with two cops and a bandit wounded.

 

 

 

 

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