Sniper kills Florida bank robber as he holds knife to hostage's throat

Video captures terrifying moment SWAT team comes face-to-face with suspect

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Wednesday, February 7, 2024
Sniper kills Florida bank robber as he holds knife to hostage's throat
A sniper killed a bank robber, Florida man Sterling Alavache, as he held a knife to a hostage's throat at a Fort Myers Bank of America on Tuesday.

Surveillance video captured the terrifying moment when a SWAT team came face-to-face with a bank robber who took two hostages in Florida on Tuesday.

"Listen just come out here let me see your hands we'll work with you we'll work with you," a deputy can be heard saying in the video.

In the tense negotiations, you can hear the suspect raising his voice and deputies urging him to surrender.

"I know you're going through a lot, but this isn't going to make what you're going through any easier," one deputy said.

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Authorities raced to the scene of a Bank of America branch in Fort Myers, escorting people out of the building and deploying a robotic dog.

"Shortly after 11 a.m., we received a call of a bank robbery in progress, with multiple hostages," said Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno.

The sheriff identified the suspect as 36-year-old Sterling Alavache, saying he claimed to be carrying a bomb and armed with a knife.

"He started to put one of the hostages in, like, a headlock, and he had the knife to her throat," Marceno said.

Suddenly, a sniper opened fire, shooting the suspect dead and freeing the hostages.

The suspect had an extensive criminal history. The sheriff said the sniper feared for the hostage's life, that's when they fired. Both hostages were unharmed.