COBB COUNTY, Ga. - Several customers and workers watched a bank standoff unfold from inside a restaurant next door.
A hostage situation began around 9:30 a.m. Friday at the Wells Fargo at 2675 Windy Hill Road in Marietta.
During an hours-long standoff, a man, who called Channel 2 Action News and identified himself as Brian Easley, claimed he had two hostages and a bomb that had the power to “take out the entire room.”
Police were able to remove the hostages from the bank. Around 1 p.m., a robot breached the front door of the bank, and police later announced that the suspect was dead.
Channel 2’s Mark Winne spoke with customers who were stuck inside the Chick-fil-A next door for hours as the standoff took place.
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"It was very scary. There was like a moment of panic and then you see the roads getting blocked off and then we saw the sniper walk by," witness Madie Richards said.
The restaurant's general manager said employees from the Wells Fargo ran in during the breakfast rush.
"My team sprung into action. Their first inclination was to take care of our guests to make sure they were safe," Mitch Fielder said.
Fielder said there about 33 employees and 19 customers in the restaurant. They were held inside from 9:30 a.m. until 3 p.m., when police gave the all clear.
"They were like, 'OK, everybody has to stay on this side of the room,' and the shut all the blinds. That was like the reality check," Richards said.
Fielder said as things wound down at his restaurant, Chick-fil-A workers pitched in to send food and drink to police.
"It's like the best place to be trapped inside. They've offered us free food and drinks, and we've had a police officer inside that's been giving us plenty of updates," witness Kerstie Sims said.
One witness captured video of the moment hostages were freed.
"I honestly believe with all the team members, they were praying. We were praying, and I think that's a big reason why the hostages got out safe," Fielder said.
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