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NORFOLK, Neb. (AP) _ Three robbers opened fire inside a northeast Nebraska bank Thursday morning, killing four bank employees and a customer, authorities said.

Police Chief Bill Mizner said the U.S. Bank branch, located just off a major highway, was robbed shortly before 9 a.m. CDT.

Authorities were searching for three men who fled on foot and were seen driving away in a white car that had temporary in-transit tags in the window rather than license plates, Mizner said.

He said a house near the bank was broken into after the robbery, and that was where the vehicle was believed to have been taken.

Schools in the city were locked down as police searched for the suspects, and the FBI was called in to help with the investigation.

Randy Volquardsen, who was working at the Carquest auto parts store across the street from the bank when the shooting happened, said he never heard the gunshots. He said a window of the bank was broken and police cars, fire trucks and ambulances were at the scene.

Windows at a Burger King restaurant next to the bank also were shot out, but no one was reported hurt inside.

Norfolk, a rural farming community with a population of about 25,000, is about 90 miles northwest of Omaha. It is best known as the hometown of comedian Johnny Carson.