A man armed with a handgun took two women and a man hostage at a bank where they work in Louisiana on Tuesday, and police were negotiating with the gunman to win the release of his captives, authorities said.
By Tuesday evening, hours after the standoff began, there were no reports of gunshots at the Tensas State Bank in St. Joseph, a small town in northeastern Louisiana.
A police negotiator has been able to calm the gunman, and the hostages have not been harmed, Louisiana State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson told the News-Star, a newspaper that covers the area.
The gunman is believed to be an employee of a local convenience store, and police have been in touch with members of his family to seek their help in ending the incident, said Jane Netterville, spokeswoman for Tensas Parish. She did not name him.
The hostages were seized at about noon, Edmonson told the newspaper.
"I don't have any idea about motive," he said, according to the video on the newspaper's site.