• Man in CVS hostage standoff sentenced to 10 years

    By: Ken Lemon


    BELMONT, N.C. - The man involved in a shootout with police and took people hostage inside a Belmont CVS Pharmacy was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison.

    Ed Russ told the judge he was sorry.
    "Sir, I apologize to everyone for what I did," Russ said.
    In October, he held three CVS workers hostage and then he and Belmont police fired shots during a six-hour ordeal that ended when Russ dropped his assault rifle and walked out of the store.
    "It was a bad night and I made a stupid mistake and I'm going to have to pay for it,” Russ said in court.
    His mother cried as he agreed to a plea of 10 years in prison.
    His attorney said Russ worries because his parents are elderly and he may never see them again as a free man.
    "I hope in time I can get out and see my parents or at least I can have time to see them before something happens to them," Russ said.
    He was living with them when he reportedly left home restless and addicted to painkillers.
    The prosecution said he went to the store and told the clerk he needed something for pain and showed an assault rifle.
    Russ took three employees hostage in the pharmacy and sent one to the front of the store to get rid of a customer.
    Locke Bell/ District Attorney:
    "She was able to use her cell phone and send out for help," said Locke Bell, district attorney.
    Russ let the two employees who had children leave.
    The DA also said when one of the hostages got sick from the ordeal and Russ went through the pharmacy trying to find medicine to help the man.
    Russ had no criminal record before the standoff.
    He requested treatment in prison for his dependence on painkillers.

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