CAMDEN — Police say the suspect who took a pharmacist hostage during an attempted drug store robbery in Camden has been found dead.

Chief Randy Gagne says officers entered the Rite Aid store at about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday and found the suspect dead of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Gagne identified the suspect as 44-year-old Robert Beerman.

Police say Beerman was armed when he entered the store just after 7 p.m. Monday and took a pharmacist hostage.

Local and state police converged on the store on Elm Street, about one block from the town office. The surrounding neighborhood and streets, including U.S. Route 1, were blocked off during the standoff.

The building was still surrounded by police shortly before 11:30 p.m., but an eyewitness, Kezia Varney, said it appeared that the hostage was released around that time.

Varney, reached by telephone, said she works as a manager at the Hartstone Inn, which is next door to the pharmacy. Varney said she was ordered by police to remain inside. She said late Monday that police still had the pharmacy surrounded.

The Maine State Police tactical team assisted local police, said Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety. Village Soup, a local newspaper, said the FBI joined the tactical team and officers from Camden, Rockport and Rockland.

Village Soup said there have been several robberies at the pharmacy during the past few years, the most recent in 2012.


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