Open line of communication continues overnight with hostage-taker
ST. JOSEPH, La. - State Police said an open line of communication continues with a hostage-taker inside a rural Louisiana bank in Tensas Parish. Negotiators will keep talking with the unidentified man overnight.
The situation has been developing since 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Two hostages remain inside the bank: a man and a woman. A third hostage, a female teller, was released around 9 p.m. Tuesday.
The hostage-taker is a 20-year-old whose family lives a few blocks from the bank. He was born in California but lives in the community. While his identity has not been released by State Police, authorities said his family owns a convenience store across the street from the Tensas State Bank on Plank Road where the event is unfolding. Neighbors of the man told WBRZ News 2 the store is called Trak Food Store.
WBRZ News 2 has also learned the man likely has ties to LSU.
State Police Superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson has said the man has been calm and has made some demands but would not elaborate on what is being discussed during negotiations.
Authorities have said they have no reason to believe the hostages have been harmed.
The released bank teller was questioned by Louisiana State Police and the FBI. She was held captive for nine hours.
St. Joseph is home to about 1,100 people. Quiet nighttime streets have been replaced with a large amount of police and special agents.
Local police and sheriff's deputies are mixed with state agencies and staff members along with the FBI.
"We have every asset available; the FBI," Tensas Parish Ricky Jones said Tuesday night. Jones and others said their one goal is to get everyone out of the situation alive.
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