A gunman and his female hostage died in a shootout with police after a bank robbery and chase, and police said they did not know if the woman was killed by her captor or by police bullets.

One policeman was wounded, two people were arrested and a 2-year-old child was found safe in a getaway vehicle, authorities said.

The shootings occurred after a Crocker National Bank branch was robbed of an undisclosed amount of money Friday afternoon by two masked men who fled in a van, police Lt. Charles Askegreen said.

Officers managed to catch up with the van twice, and shots were exchanged between the vehicles in the midst of rush-hour traffic.

Officers forced the van to the side of a road and a man and a woman were arrested, but another man got into the driver's seat and sped away, Askegreen said.

More shots were fired, and the van drove into the parking lot of an electronics firm. There the armed man took a secretary hostage after robbing 10 employes at gunpoint.

The man forced his screaming hostage to drive him away in her pickup. The truck traveled about a mile, and shots were fired when the truck was cornered on a dead-end street, Askegreen said.