• Court documents give some details on CVS hostage standoff

    By: Torie Wells


    BELMONT, N.C. - Edward Russ is accused of holding three people hostage at gunpoint during a CVS robbery in Belmont and is jailed on a $5 million bond.

    Investigators said a customer was able to slip out and call police.

    Officers said Russ fired shots at them with a rifle before releasing the hostages. Hours later, he walked out of the building with his hands up and surrendering to police.

    Police said they tapped into the store's surveillance video during the hostage situation but they are not releasing the video Friday.

    Court documents indicate the three hostages, all CVS employees, were two men and a woman. One of the men is a pharmacist.

    Russ was carrying a SKS assault weapon and stole more than $750 worth of Percocet, a strong painkiller.

    At some point, Russ let two of the hostages go, because they have children but police said he shot at officers when they approached.

    According to the magistrate's order, Russ told the hostage, "Tell the police if they do not leave, I am going
    to kill you."

    Police said Russ eventually did let that hostage go as well and in surveillance video, it shows him come out of the store with his hands up.

    Russ' charges include kidnapping, robbery with a dangerous weapon, attempted first-degree murder and assault on a law enforcement officer with a firearm.

    In the past, he was arrested in Gaston County four times on misdemeanor charges and was not convicted of any of them.

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