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Hostage Crisis Ends at McDonald’s

April 27, 1998

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) _ A hostage crisis that began with a shootout at a McDonald’s restaurant ended today when 13 people were freed by a SWAT team and two others were left in New York City by a fleeing suspect.

No hostage was injured. But a masked gunman was found dead in the back of the restaurant from a gunshot he might have received from police, Police Chief Arthur Kelly said.

A second gunman was being sought after fleeing with two female hostages during the shootout. He dropped them off unharmed in the Bronx section of New York City.

``Our prayers were with those being held hostage,″ City Council President Brian Gomes said. ``We just wanted everything to turn out all right.″

Police were called to the restaurant in this city 60 miles south of Boston after a report of two suspicious men at about 9 p.m. As officers tried to talk to them, the suspects shot at them and police fired back.

As customers and police ran out, one gunman fled in a car.

During the standoff, police were able to talk to one hostage by cellular telephone but could not contact the gunman still inside, Kelly said. At midnight, SWAT team members opened a door with a key.

``We saw the SWAT team running across the street and they were yelling,″ said Spencer Strickland, who watched the standoff. ``It looked like some kind of a `Miami Vice’ episode.″

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