Police standoff at liquor store ends peacefully

June 29, 2011 8:07:53 PM PDT
A robbery and hostage situation turned into a police standoff at a liquor store in Brooklyn on Wednesday.

People alerted officers passing by the block about an apparent robbery at the store.

The hostage standoff went on for more than three hours.

The armed robbers were apparently drinking inside the liquor store, maybe because they knew it was their last few moments of freedom for a long, long time.

The second suspect came out of the liquor store with his hands up and was promptly tackled by a waiting team of elite police officers.

The 3.5 hour hostage stand-off was over with no injuries, but left plenty of frayed nerves in the Flatlands section of Brooklyn.

"The police say he has a gun and they keep pushing us back so it makes me nervous," Jack Husney, an eyewitness said.

Eyewitnesses say the two men stormed into the Arrow Liquor Store on Avenue N at around 1:30 Wednesday afternoon.

They were wearing face masks and carrying a 40-caliber gun.

"You see a man pointing a gun at police and the police were pointing back," Husney said.

Two male customers and a clerk were taken hostage.

According to the clerk, a Russian man who did not want to go on camera, the customers were forced to lie on the ground while he emptied the registers.

What the armed robbers didn't count on was the police showing up so quickly.

With no way out, minutes turned into hours and police locked down several blocks as they tried to convince the suspects to surrender.

"They wouldn't let us come out, there were police everywhere," said Mike O'Brien, an Eyewitness.

As the negotiations wore on, police shuttled out children from a nearby daycare center.

Donald was relieved to have his son Elijah in his arms again.

"It's scary. We didn't know what was going to happen, thank God it's done and we can go back to our lives," said Donald Part, a parent.

Finally, just before 5 p.m., Newscopter 7 was above the scene when the first suspect came out peacefully, followed 20 minutes later by the second.

All three hostages escaped with no injuries.

Suspects are 23 and 25-years-old, and will face an array of robbery and weapons charges.

Many people have been asking about the owner's dog, a pit bull who is sometimes inside the store, had the day off and was home at the time of the robbery.