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UPDATE: Belmont CVS gunman in custody, hostages safely released

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Edward Russ

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — Police say a suspected gunman in Belmont has surrendered, following a standoff that took three people hostage at a CVS pharmacy and lasted nearly six hours Friday morning, according to WSOC.

Edward Russ, 46, of Gastonia, went before a judge Friday after police said they had a six-hour standoff.

He was given a bond of $5 million. Specific charges are pending.

The incident began around 2 a.m. at the CVS Pharmacy on the 6700 block of Wilkinson Boulevard in Belmont near Charlotte, according to police.

Police say Russ walked into the store with a SKS scope mounted rifle in an attempt to commit an armed robbery.

It was reported several people were in the store when the gunman tried to rob it. One person was able to slip out and call the police.

Police arrived on scene and when they tried to go inside, the gunman opened fire.

The three employees who were being held hostage were released around 4:30 a.m.

No injuries were reported.

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