US & Canada

North Carolina police shoot teenage bank robber dead

Police take aim during a stand-off at a Cary, North Carolina bank
Image caption A witness said police snipers fired a volley of shots, killing the would-be robber

An American teenager who took hostages in a botched bank robbery has been shot dead by police.

Police in Cary, North Carolina, said no hostages or officers were injured in the incident on Thursday, which unfolded live on television.

Devon Mitchell, 19, held seven people in the bank at gun point at the height of the encounter, police said.

"This is absolutely not how we wanted this to end," said police chief Pat Bazemore, who called it "very sad".

But Ms Bazemore added: "I stand behind our officers and what they did."

Police arrived within minutes of the reported robbery attempt at a Wachovia bank branch, at about 1500 local time (2000 GMT).

In the course of the stand-off Mitchell released four hostages, after negotiations with police.

About three hours later, Mitchell slowly walked out of the bank with a gun held to a female hostage's head. Police snipers fired a volley of shots and killed him.

The hostage was apparently unharmed.

A local television station reported that Mitchell was in his senior year of high school and lived in a block of flats near the bank.