MARIETTA, Ga. – Police smashed through a bank wall Friday afternoon and freed two people trapped inside with a man who claimed to have a bomb powerful enough to “take out the room.”
The suspect was believed to still be inside the Wells Fargo bank branch northwest of Atlanta near Interstate 75 as the standoff that began about three hours earlier continued.
Though police didn’t say exactly how they got the people out, a large military-type vehicle was seen smashing its way through a back wall of the bank building, raining bricks onto its hood.
“To our relief we don’t have any injuries here as far as any employees or customers,” Cobb County police Sgt. Dana Pierce told reporters at the scene early Friday afternoon.
Several heavily armed police officers had converged on the bank earlier in the day after reports of a man claiming to have a bomb with possible hostages inside.
Police said the man inside the bank branch near Marietta had made threats and was inside with an unknown number of employees.
Police limited the amount of information they made public saying the suspect might be monitoring news coverage and social media, Cobb County police Officer Alicia Chilton said in a statement to the Associated Press.
“This is an active situation, however, the public is not at risk” Chilton said in the statement.
WSB-TV in Atlanta reported that its newsroom received a call Friday morning from a man said he was inside the bank and talked for more than 30 minutes.
The man told the station’s assignment desk that he had a bomb and two people with him.
The man said he didn’t intend to hurt anyone, the station reported.
In the station’s video account of the conversation, the man can be heard saying that the bomb had the power to “take out the room.” Cobb County Police Chief Mike Register told the news station that officers were in contact with the man.
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