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Sunday
Feb132011

Did Bank Hostage-Taker Teen Commit Suicide by Cop?

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(CARY, N.C.) -- A North Carolina teen who was killed by police when he came out of a bank where he had held seven people hostage was holding something to the head of one of those hostages, but it was not a gun, officials said Sunday.

The revelation added to the mystery about what was going through the 19-year-old Cary, N.C., man's mind when he went to the bank Thursday, setting off a two-hour standoff with police.

Devon Mitchell had told hostages inside the bank and a police hostage negotiator that he had a gun during the standoff at a Wachovia branch in the town, Cary Police Chief Pat Bazemore said at a news conference Sunday. But Mitchell had also told a teller to call 911 when he went into the bank, and he apparently did not demand any money.

Police shot Mitchell when he came out of the bank holding something concealed in a red hat to the head of a hostage, Bazemore said.

"We were left with no other choice than to do exactly what we did," she said.

The police chief said Sunday she did not know what the young man was actually holding when a police sniper shot and killed him.

"Despite what the original 911 call reported, despite what he said to the hostages, despite what he told our hostage negotiator, despite what we all thought we saw when he came out of the bank with something pointing at one of the hostages heads, we now know there was not a gun," Bazemore said.

The police chief said their investigation indicated that Mitchell wanted police to kill him, so-called "suicide by cop."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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