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Florida bank robber killed by SWAT sniper after holding knife to hostage’s throat


Brian Niemietz
New York Daily News

A bank robber in Fort Myers, Fla. claiming to have a bomb was taken out by a SWAT team sniper when he held a knife to a hostage’s throat.

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said at a Tuesday press conference that his officers responded with deadly force after an 11 a.m. robbery at the Bank of America in Bell Tower Shops turned violent.

“It was a chaotic scene,” Marceno said. “We applied all technology — that’s the robodog, our SWAT team, electronic, surveillance [and] drones.”

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office was also assisted by the FBI.

According to Marceno, police tried to negotiate with an unidentified man who was holding two people hostage. When the suspect grabbed a woman and put a knife to her throat, law enforcement opened fire.

“This is exactly what we train for,” Marceno said. “The suspect who presented deadly force is no longer with us.”

The shooter who took down the suspect will be placed on administrative leave while the situation is investigated, as per protocol. NBC News in Florida reported the sniper was with the police department’s SWAT unit.

Marceno said officers resorted to lethal force out of fear the hostage would be hurt or killed. Deputies blocked roadways around the southwest Florida bank while the situation was unfolding. No other injuries were reported.

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