By The Associated Press
BERLIN (AP) -- Police stormed a hijacked city bus to end a 4 1/2-hour
standoff Friday, wounding a suspected bank robber who commandeered
the yellow double-decker and freeing his remaining two captives
Gunfire rang out as the commandos broke windows to get inside the
bus. The suspect apparently was shot in the shoulder but his wounds
were not life-threatening, police spokesman Christian Matzdorf said.
The two remaining hostages were led quickly out of the bus.
"The hostage-taker is injured, the hostages are unharmed," Matzdorf said.
The drama began when two masked men, one with a pistol, robbed a
Berlin bank Friday morning, yelling "Money! Money!," according to
witnesses. They made off with an unknown sum and the gunman then
commandeered the bus just outside the Commerzbank branch in the busy
Steglitz shopping district.
More than 20 passengers were aboard the bus, N-24 television
reported, though police said they had no precise figure.
Most got away before the bus -- apparently cornered by unmarked
police cars -- came to a stop on a thoroughfare in the Schoeneberg
district, about an hour after the holdup.
Sharpshooters took up position along a wall about 20 yards away,
while police commandos in helmets and bulletproof vests surrounded
the bus, some occasionally peering in the windows.
Officials negotiated with the hostage-taker for hours in person and
by cell phone to free the two people inside, Matzdorf said.
At least one shot was fired on the bus during the standoff, but no
one was believed to have been injured, Matzdorf said.
He refused to say whether the hijacker had made demands.
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Police refused to say what happened to the other robbery suspect.