The gunman who took three hostages at a Louisiana bank Tuesday — killing one of them before being shot and killed by police — recently posted chilling messages on Facebook, including a cartoon strip about hostages.
In a post on Sunday, 20-year-old Fuaed Abdo Ahmed displays a cartoon strip that focuses on an apparent hostage situation. In it, a gunman points a pistol at a hostage. “I’ll release the hostage if you give me a sandwich!” says the gunman in the strip.
Negotiators in the next frame then talk about the demand, with one asking “How close is the nearest deli?” “Three blocks,” the second man replies.
“Okay, you can kill the hostage,” one negotiator calls back to the hostage-taker.
Ahmed’s final post, made Tuesday just hours before the hostage standoff began, is of a photo of a man with a sword attacking a tank.Under the photo is a quote from the novel “If This Goes On,” a 1940 science-fiction novel by Robert Heinlein that speculates on life in a futuristic American theocratic Christian society.
Authorities say Ahmed took the three hostages around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Tensas State Bank branch in St. Joseph, which sits near Louisiana’s border with Mississippi.
KNOE reported that the three hostages were employees at the bank.
During hostage negotiations, authorities were able to get Ahmed on the phone with a friend in Alaska, Louisiana State Police superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson said. That was crucial in convincing Ahmed to eventually release a female hostage.
Ahmed had written a letter “detailing exactly what he was going to do,” Edmonson said.
“He was mad at people that he said were mean to him,” he said. “He had voices in his head.”
Edmonson said the man grew increasingly erratic as negotiations went on, sometimes hanging up on police. One of his demands to authorities was that they get the device out of his head, Edmonson said.
Eventually, Ahmed told negotiators he was going to kill the two remaining hostages. Edmonson said state police entered the building just before midnight Tuesday.
That’s when Ahmed shot the two hostages and then police shot and killed him, Edmonson said.
Charla Ducote, spokeswoman for Rapides Regional Medical Center in Alexandria, La., said the wounded hostage, LaDean McDaniel, was in critical condition Wednesday morning. She could not provide further details.
Law enforcement officials have not identified the male victim, who was shot to death
The hostages were both shot with a handgun, but Edmonson said Ahmed was also armed with a rifle. He also had a duffel bag containing items he was going to use to torture the hostages.
“His intent was to inflict pain and kill these individuals,” Edmonson said.
But Edmonson said there was no indication Ahmed had any history with the hostages and authorities did not know why he picked the bank. The bank sits across the street from a service station owned by Ahmed’s family.
“These were good, God-fearing people,” he said of the hostages.
Edmonson said Ahmed’s parents were from Yemen, but he was a U.S. citizen and there was no indication that he had a political or religious motive.
On a Facebook page under Ahmed’s name that was set up in the spring, Ahmed describes himself as a native of Fresno, Calif. On the page, he is seen in photos smiling and wearing a baseball cap backward, and with friends.
Ahmed discusses philosophy of life from the Tao Te Ching, a 6th century B.C. Chinese text, and is a fan of comedian Jerry Seinfield, rapper Eminem and Islam. He makes no specific references to political or religious extremism.
Investigators told KNOE.com that Ahmed had been planning to take hostages for some time, even acquiring books on hostage negotiations, and had no intention of robbing the bank.
Nelda Bass lives next door to where Ahmed lived.
The day before he took the hostages, she says she heard a single gunshot and went outside to see what was happening. She says she saw Ahmed standing in his yard with a rifle. He went inside when he saw her, and she didn’t call police at the time.