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Gunman With Automatic Weapon Holding Multiple Hostages at Louisiana Bank

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Law enforcement crews gather outside developing hostage situation. (Photo credit: myarklamiss.com)

(TheBlaze/AP) — Authorities say a gunman has taken at least three people hostage at a bank in northeastern Louisiana.

It happened Tuesday afternoon at the Tensas State Bank in St. Joseph, La., southeast of Monroe.

Scene of Hostage Situation Outside Bank Law enforcement crews gather outside developing hostage situation. (Photo credit: myarklamiss.com)

Louisiana State Police say the man was armed with some type of automatic weapon, but they are unsure if he was trying to commit a robbery.

"At this point, we don't know if the suspect was trying to commit a robbery," Tensas Parish Sheriff's Office Chief Civil Deputy Neeci Gregory reportedly said.

The standoff has been going on for over an hour and negotiators are talking with the suspect, according to local news outlet myarklamisscom.

Both the FBI and a SWAT team are on the scene, reports myarklamisscom.

Law Enforcement Blocking Traffic Law enforcement blocking off a road. (Photo credit: myarklamiss.com)

Edmonson says authorities believe the three hostages are bank employees. It is unclear whether any customers were in the bank. Local reporter Josh Bergerson of the Natchez Democrat, tweeted the three individuals had been "handcuffed together."

Law enforcement is also reportedly blocking access to Highway 128 East for individuals going toward the scene, reports myarklamisscom.

The brother of the suspect was arrested later in the day after reportedly trying to enter the crime scene.

This is a breaking news story. Updates will be added.

Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter

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