A Vietnam veteran who pleaded with police to execute him killed three people, including his mother, and wounded seven others yesterday in a three-hour shooting rampage.

The ordeal ending in a bank where he was shot and killed by police after taking eight hostages. The gunman killed one of the hostages and wounded two policemen, one critically.

Police identified the gunman as William Griffin, 37, of Rochester, and said he forced the bank manager to call police agencies and read an "irrational" typewritten note he had carried into the bank.

Police Chief Delmar Leach said the note, read at 1:30 p.m., promised a hostage would be killed within 30 minutes if police had not "executed" Griffin.

During the tense half-hour that followed, Griffin showed himself to police several times. But officers did not fire, fearing he might have exchanged clothes with one of the hostages.

At 2 p.m., he fired two shotgun shells into the back of bank teller Margaret Moore, 30. An officer, poised in the window of a church across the street, then fired a single shot that struck Griffin in the head and killed him.

Leach said Griffin had no criminal record in Rochester. Neighbhors said he was a Vietnam veteran "never quite the same" since his return.

Details of Griffin's letter were sketchy, but Leach said it was "irrational," with a reference to his "Social Security being taken away."