Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wheelchair user holds five hostages in Virginia post office

From UPI:

WYTHEVILLE, Va. -- A armed wheelchair-bound man carrying explosives held five hostages Dec. 23 at the Wytheville, Va., Post Office, police said.

Southwest Virginia Today reported multiple gunshots were heard in the vicinity. Police said the man had 5 pounds of the plastic explosive C-4 strapped to his wheelchair.

Officers were trying to get the man to contact a hostage negotiator by phone. Police blocked off three square blocks around the post office.

Postal worker Walt Korndorfer told Southwest Virginia Today he ran from the building after hearing shots and said there was at least one hostage.

A customer who left the post office as the gunman entered said the man had been driving a red truck with Marine Corps stickers. She said he fired at police and had hand grenades. A sheriff's office employee confirmed there were grenades on the man's truck, Southwest Virginia Today reported.