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Gunman surrenders in N.C. drugstore standoff

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BELMONT, N.C. (AP) - A gunman surrendered to authorities after releasing three people he held hostage in a North Carolina drugstore early Friday after a robbery attempt, police said.

The gunman surrendered several hours after releasing the hostages who were in the store when he tried to rob it, Belmont Police Sgt. John Wilson said.

The man's name was not immediately released and there was no immediate word on the charges he would face.

Officers were called to the store shortly after 1:45 a.m. and exchanged gunfire with the man before realizing there were hostages in the store, police said.

The officers left the store and called for assistance. Officers from nearby Gastonia, Gaston County and Mount Holly surrounded the store while negotiations were held with the man.

The hostages were released shortly after 4 a.m. There were no injuries, Wilson said.

Belmont is about 15 miles west of Charlotte.

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