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A day after deadly shooting, bank guard found cowering in basement

March 12, 1997

DETROIT (AP) _ A bank guard was found cowering in the building’s basement Wednesday, more than a day after she fled a gunman during a rampage that left four people dead.

Virene Brown was found by police inside the Comerica bank and taken to a hospital. She was frightened and upset, police said.

``The Lord was so good. ... He gave her strength,″ said sister Alma Brown. She said all her sister could remember of Tuesday’s ordeal was that the gunman put a shotgun to her head.

Police could not immediately confirm that, saying only that the guard was released by the gunman and ran. Police had been looking for her ever since.

Ms. Brown’s car, purse, coat and other items were left behind after the shootings. Her fiance had gone to the back earlier Wednesday looking for some news of her, saying she hadn’t come home or called.

``Ain’t no way somebody should just disappear like that,″ said Michael Debardelaben.

At her family’s request, St. John Hospital released no information on her condition.

Police said the gunman, Allen Griffith Jr., 21, was despondent over legal, marital and money troubles.

Dressed in gray-and-white camouflage, he went into the bank Tuesday morning and announced a holdup. But instead of taking money, he shot three people, killing two bank employees, and ordered everyone else inside to sing the Lord’s Prayer with him.

He took an elderly man hostage outside and fatally shot him in the head before being killed in a barrage of police gunfire.

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