POSTED: Monday, January 21, 2013 - 6:50pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 1:15pm
WEST BATON ROUGE PARISH, LA (NBC33) — A robbery suspect was shot and killed by police after he allegedly took a store employee hostage, stole a police cruiser, then threatened to kill himself as well as the hostage.
An attempted robbery of Noah's Pharmacy was reported to the Brusly Police Department sometime before 6:00 p.m. The caller told police that a man wearing a ski mask had entered the store with a gun and was attempting to rob the place.
The Brusly Police Department called the Addis Police Department for backup. When both agencies arrived on scene, the suspect, Ray Charles Hayes, 50, of Port Allen, allegedly took a female employee at the store hostage.
Officials tell us Hayes exited the store with the employee and managed to escape in an Addis Police cruiser. We're told the hostage was forced to drive the vehicle.
At some point the cruiser crashed into a ditch on LA 1 near the Intracoastal Canal. At that point Hayes exited the vehicle with the hostage and threatened to kill her, then himself.
After a standoff with police that lasted nearly 15 minutes, officers with the Addis Police Department opened fire on the suspect.
"The suspect actually gave a ultimatum," said Trooper Jared Sandifer of the Louisiana State Police, "He said he was actually going to count down from a number and kill his hostage, so that's when they were forced to take action."
Hayes was pronounced dead at the scene.
The hostage suffered only minor injuries related to the car crash.
Officers believe another woman may have been involved in the robbery attempt. She is thought to have been the suspect's getaway driver, is possibly in her 40's, and is likely driving a sports car.
The Louisiana State Police reports that at least two other traffic crashes were caused by the pursuit. They say no other civilians or law enforcement personnel were injured.
The Addis Police Department has requested the Louisiana State Police to investigate the shooting to ensure all protocol was followed. This is standard procedure with any officer involved shooting.
The Baton Rouge Police Department, West Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office, Iberville Parish Sheriff's Office, and Port Allen Police Department are also assisting with this investigation.