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SWAT Team Sniper Kills Armed Man

October 28, 2001

NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ A police sniper fatally shot an armed robbery suspect early Sunday when he walked outside of a house with an assault rifle to a woman’s head.

Joseph Rideau, 22, was shot around 8:15 a.m., ending a 28-hour police hunt for him, his brother and a third man, all wanted for a string of armed robberies, police said.

Christopher Rideau, 21, surrendered shortly after his brother was killed. Gregory Matthews, 17, was still at large, said Sgt. Paul Accardo, a police spokesman.

He said police found a large cache of weapons and ammunition in the house.

The hunt began before dawn Saturday when police spotted Joseph Rideau. Officers found his SUV but before they got out Rideau shot out the engine of one squad car and the windshield of another, disabling both, police said.

Officers tracked the men to a house, where one man fled in a car, Accardo said.

A SWAT officer fired one shot that struck Rideau in the head when he left the house with the woman.

She and another woman in the house were unharmed. Police were trying to determine if they were ``pretending to be hostages or actual legitimate hostages,″ Accardo said.

Police also did not know why Rideau walked out of the house.

``He was being so irrational throughout this incident _ some of us, some of the SWAT team members, believe he thought he could escape,″ Accardo said.

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