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2nd hostage shot in Louisiana standoff dies in hospital

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A second hostage shot during a standoff at a rural Louisiana bank died Thursday at a hospital.

LaDean McDaniel was one of three bank employees taken hostage Tuesday by 20-year-old Fuaed Abdo Ahmed. Ahmed released one of the hostages during negotiations.

McDaniel died Thursday morning at Rapides Regional Medical Center in Alexandria, said hospital spokeswoman Charla Ducote. Police say Ahmed shot her and Jay Warbington when police stormed the Tensas State Bank in St. Joseph. Ahmed was shot and killed by police.

Ahmed had told police he planned to kill the hostages before officers came into the bank.

Authorities say Ahmed was angry and believed his ex-girlfriend’s family had been responsible for their breakup and for putting a device in his head, according to a letter found in a van parked near the bank. The letter detailed his plan to take employees hostage and had a list of demands, including safe passage to another country.

The mayor of the small town of 1,200 near the Mississippi border said he has heard from a lot of angry residents.

“The healing process is going to take time,” Mayor Edward Brown said.

Herman Watson, 52, said he and Warbington used to work together at Mack’s Fresh Market, just down the street from the bank in St. Joseph. Sitting in a back office at Mack’s on Wednesday, Watson wiped away tears as he talked about the qualities he loved and will miss in a man he described as being as close as a brother.

“He loved to listen to music, all kinds of music. He liked nice clothes. He loved jokes. One of his favorite comedians was Richard Pryor,” said Watson.

Warbington, he said, was single and had no children.

Watson also said he knew McDaniel, who also had once worked at Mack’s. She was married and had a son, Watson said, and had several grandchildren. He said McDaniel’s husband waited near the scene throughout the stand-off.

“They were great people, and I know they are going to Heaven,” Watson said. “They got a first-class ticket”

Two neighbors said they heard gunshots from near Ahmed’s house Monday and Tuesday before the standoff, but didn’t think it was unusual enough to call police.

During the standoff, Ahmed grew increasingly erratic as negotiations went on, and sometimes he hung up on police. One of his demands to authorities was that they get the device out of his head, Louisiana State Police superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson said.

Armed with a .380 semiautomatic handgun and an assault rifle, Ahmed kept the hostages in a small work room where the bank vault is, said Tensas Parish Sheriff Rickey Jones.

During negotiations, authorities were able to get Ahmed on the phone with a friend in Alaska, which was crucial in convincing him to release a female hostage. Jones said it’s not clear why he targeted the bank.

The remaining hostages were both shot with a handgun.

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Mohr contributed to this story from Jackson, Miss.



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