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Louisiana hostage situation attracts national attention

On Tuesday, national media outlets turned their yes to St. Joseph, Louisiana, where a man entered a bank and took three people hostage. That ignited an hours-long standoff with police, which in turn ended only after officers stormed the building and shot the man to death.

Authorities say the 20-year-old man entered the bank around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Police responded to the scene and a standoff commenced.

At one point, hostage negotiators were able to connect the man with a friend of his who lived in Alaska. That friend convinced the man to let one of his two female hostages go.

Unfortunately, negotiators could not convince the man to release the other two hostages. He shot the remaining female hostage, wounding her, and shot the male hostage to death. He was then fatally shot by police.

Authorities have said the man had mental difficulties, but did not say which kind specifically. They did reveal that the man evidently believed that there was some kind of device implanted in his head; at one point during neogitations with officials, he demanded that the police remove it. A spokesman from the Louisiana State Police said the man left a letter explaining that he was "mad at people that he said were mean to him."

Issues like this cast a spotlight on the difficulties inherent in addressing mental illness as a societywide problem. It can be very hard to get people the help they need, but it is very important that their needs are addressed.

Source: Online Athens, "Police kill Louisiana bank hostage taker; 1 hostage dies," Holbrook Mohr, Aug. 14, 2013

Meet Attorney Guillory

Attorney Joshua S. Guillory was born in Alexandria, Louisiana. Upon graduating high school from Alexandria Senior High, he enrolled in classes at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree. Josh was a member of Mu Kappa Tau, a national honor society for marketing majors, while attending... Read More

Joshua S. Guillory

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