POSTED: Sunday, August 5, 2012 - 9:00pm
UPDATED: Sunday, August 5, 2012 - 9:04pm
NATIONAL NEWS (CNN) — Two employees were held hostage for about four hours Sunday afternoon at a sporting goods store in Yuba City, California, before being released, police said.
The suspect in the incident surrendered to negotiators, according to police, who said they believe it was a botched robbery.
The incident began around 11:15 a.m. (2:15 p.m. ET) when the male suspect walked into the Big 5 store, Yuba police officer Shawna Pavey said. The suspect, who was not identified by police, fired a shot into the air before grabbing an 18-year-old cashier. Six to 12 customers in the store managed to escape, Pavey said.
The store manager was able to call 911 while hiding under her desk in her locked office.
"When the suspect began banging on her door she opened it and gave him the keys to the store." Pavey said. The manager was then able to escape.
Once outside, the manager did a quick head count and realized that the cashier and a 20-year-old male employee were unaccounted for. They were later released unharmed when the suspect surrendered.
Yuba City is about 40 miles north of Sacramento, California.