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Gunman dead after taking ex-girlfriend hostage, shooting her

REDLANDS, Calif. -- A gunman took his ex-girlfriend hostage and shot at her from point-blank range before police killed him Thursday afternoon in Southern California, authorities said.

The man died at the scene following a lengthy effort to negotiate with him as he sat holding the woman on a sidewalk near the Office Depot store where the woman works in the city of Redlands.

"He did fire at her... the officers fired at him to try to stop that threat and be able to try to save her life," Redlands Police Chief Mark Garcia said during a news conference in the university town about 70 miles east of Los Angeles.

Officers dragged the woman, who was not moving, to an armored vehicle. She was airlifted to Loma Linda University Medical Center and was in critical condition, hospital spokeswoman Susan Onuma said.

Garcia said a domestic dispute led to the hostage-taking. Witnesses told CBS Los Angeles that the shooting following an argument between the suspect and the woman inside the store.

"He came to the store, looking for her. She tried to get away and he followed her out of the store. At one point, he did fire a round in the store," Garcia said.

The shot grazed a bystander's finger, according to Garcia. The man was in good condition at a hospital.

The names of the gunman and the woman were not immediately released but family members told the Redlands Daily Facts that her name was Kristin Bauer, 28, of Corona and that she managed the store.

Her father, Gregory Bauer of Corona, told the Daily Facts that his daughter called him by cellphone and said her ex-boyfriend had tried to shoot her .

"It was like background noise," Bauer said. "She kept telling him, 'You gotta let me go. You gotta let me go,' and he said, 'I'm not afraid to die.'"

Then the phone went dead, he told the Riverside Press-Enterprise.

The man and the woman wound up in a grassy lot near a sidewalk, where police managed to talk to both of them during a standoff that lasted more than two hours.

Television images showed the man holding a cellphone. At one point, he stroked the woman's hair and appeared to be talking to her.

Bauer told the Press-Enterprise that his daughter had been dating the man for several months and there were no previous signs of trouble but she recently had suggested they stop seeing each other.

Bauer told other reporters that the ex-boyfriend hadn't appeared to be violent and something must have "triggered" him.

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