A bank robber held a hostage for an hour in Prince William County yesterday. A suspect was captured after a police sharpshooter fired through the windshield of his pickup truck, police reported.
Police said the suspect, identified as Edgar Eshelman 20, of Camp Springs, and his hostage were cornered by police at a roadblock on Vint Hill Road, about seven miles east of Route 29, near Nokesville.
After an hour of negotiations with Eshelman police said the police sharpshooter shot him through the right hand and neck before the sharpshooter's bullet lodged in his left shoulder. Eshelman was reported in critical condition last night as he underwent surgery at Prince William County Hospital.
Ewing House, 57, a Nokesville farmer who taken hostage in the Bank of Virginia's Potomac Nokesville branch about 1:30 p.m., was not harmed, police said.
House was handcuffed by Eshelman, who was armed with a handgun, and chained to the right door of the suspects Chevrolet pickup truck after he was taken hostage, police said.
Police said the bank had been robbed of an undisclosed amount of money by a gunman who grabbed House, a customer at the bank, and forced him into his pickup truck, which was parked outside the bank.
Police said Officer G.W. Jones spotted the vehicle after a lookout was broadcast and trailed it five miles along country roads until police set up a roadblocked on Vint Hill Road.
The suspect, police and FBI agents then engaged in an hour-long negotiation until it became "apparent that the life of the hostage was imperiled and (the suspect) held a gun to (House's) head," according to police.
During the negotiations, Eshelman fired four shots at police, they said. One hit a police cruiser and the three others went into a nearby fields, but police said they did not return the fire for fear of injuring House.
After negotiations broke down at about 3:10 a.m., police said, the sharpshooter was authorized to shoot at Eshelman.
Police said they charged Eshelman with armed bank robbery, abduction, attempted murder and use of a fire-arm in the commission of a felony, according to police.