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Suspected gunman arrested, hostages unharmed

Nov 01 (NHK) - An armed suspect in a shooting was holed up inside a post office in Saitama Prefecture, north of Tokyo with two female hostages. Police stormed the building and arrested him.

Authorities confirmed the two women are unharmed. They believe the 86-year-old man was involved in an earlier shooting at a nearby hospital that injured two.

The shooting happened shortly after 1 p.m. on Tuesday at a hospital in Toda City. Police say a handgun was apparently fired at the hospital from a street.

They say a doctor and a patient suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The suspect then fled the scene and barricaded himself at a post office less than two kilometers from the hospital.

Police were communicating with the suspect by phone.

One of the women walked out about five hours after the incident began. About two hours later, the other hostage escaped.

Police stormed the building around 10 p.m., about eight hours after the suspect barricaded himself inside, and detained him.

Police are also investigating a possibly related incident in the same neighborhood. A fire broke out at an apartment building about one kilometer from the hospital just minutes before the shooting took place. Nobody was hurt.

Investigators believe the suspected gunman had lived in one of the apartment units.

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