Covering Louisiana

Aug 20, 2013 12:37 PM by AP

Memorial service set for slain bank hostages

ST. JOSEPH, La. (AP) - A memorial service is planned for Tuesday outside a Tensas Parish bank in memory of two employees who died after being shot during a hostage standoff last week.

The service marks one week since 20-year-old Fuaed Abdo Ahmed walked into the Tensas State Bank branch in St. Joseph and took three employees hostage. Ahmed released one of the hostages during the negotiations, but he shot and fatally wounded LaDean McDaniel and Jay Warbington when police stormed the bank. Ahmed was shot and killed by police.

The service is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Louisiana State Police Col. Michael Edmonson is among the scheduled speakers. Leslie Durham, one of the service's organizers, said a local pastor also will address the gathering.

Durham said residents of the rural town near the Mississippi border are still in shock.

"It's surreal," she said. "We think we're going to wake up and think, 'Man, that was a terrible movie.' It doesn't seem real at all."

Durham said the town has been "eerie quiet" for the past week.

"You just can't hardly breathe when you drive through town," she added.

McDaniel is survived by a husband, a son and two grandchildren. Warbington was single and didn't have any children, but Durham said his mother and a brother live in Louisiana.

Authorities said Ahmed left a note in which he detailed his plan to take people hostage and made several demands, including safe passage to another country. The note also said he believed his ex-girlfriend's family had been responsible for their breakup and for putting a device in his head.

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