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Pharmacy Hostages Safe; Suspect Arrested

Six people were held hostage at a pharmacy for about an hour and half Monday before police arrested a man who had demanded prescription drugs and fired a shot, authorities said.

None of the hostages was harmed, but the suspect was taken to a hospital, said Logan County 911 Director Marilyn Crosby. The nature of his injuries was not immediately clear, but a witness said he had taken a painkiller and an anti-anxiety drug.

"Everybody else that was in there were safe," Crosby said. Details on the situation, including how it ended, were sketchy Monday afternoon.

The hostage-taking occurred about 1:20 p.m. at the Family Discount Pharmacy in Stollings, about 60 miles southwest of Charleston, Crosby said.

Pharmacy technician Jessica Thompson, 24, said the gunman walked into the store and demanded pills, saying he needed the drugs but could not afford to buy them.

Thompson said she and two other employees hid under a counter while three other people in the store froze. The man began screaming, telling the workers to get up, and they obeyed.

The man told the hostages that he wanted to kill himself but did not want to hurt them, Thompson said. He was given an unknown quantity of Lortab, a painkiller, and Xanax, an anti-anxiety drug, which he took, she said. He then became drowsy.

Workers told the man there were more drugs in an adjacent building, Thompson said. She told the suspect she was going to get the keys to the other building but ran for help instead.

"I was just afraid he would hurt the rest of them that were in there," she said.

"The gunman was taken to a hospital," said Crosby, director of the dispatcher's office. The nature of his injuries was not disclosed.

Details on how the standoff ended were not immediately disclosed.