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Police kill man who shot five

ALEXANDRIA, La. - Police shot and killed a man early Friday after an hours-long standoff in which he shot five people at downtown law office, killing two of them, authorities said.

John Ashley, 63, a former city worker, was killed in an exchange of gunfire, Mayor Jacques Roy said. Police had used explosives to enter the building.

The shootout ended a standoff that lasted about 10 hours and caused police to block off much of downtown. Before the deadly shooting, the gunman had repeatedly fought off officers' attempts to reach the victims and shot at a remote-controlled police robot sent into the building, police said.

Two of the wounded managed to escape, and police rescued a third. Police found the two dead after entering the building.

The mayor declined to speculate about Ashley's motive. The gunman had retired as a city maintenance worker.

Police Chief Daren Coutee said officers called Ashley repeatedly on his cell phone and the office phone throughout the day but he refused to talk.

'We did all we could do as far as negotiations were concerned,' Coutee said.

Roy identified one of the dead as Joey Giordano, 32, son of attorney Camille Giordano, who was shot but not killed. The other person killed was Marty Thiels, 50, a postal worker who was delivering mail to the law firm when he walked in on the shootings, Roy said.

The (Alexandria) Town Talk newspaper reported that Camille Giordano, bloodied and in boxer shorts, emerged from the building after police arrived and was taken to a hospital. Cindy Cespiva, a spokeswoman for Christus St. Frances Cabrini Hospital, said he underwent surgery and was in critical condition Friday.

The Rapides Regional Medical Center identified the other victims as Sam Giordano, an attorney, and Andrea Fletcher Price, the law firm's secretary.

Sam Giordano, 49, was in serious condition, and Price, 27, was in fair condition, said Courtney Michiels, a hospital spokeswoman.

The law office, converted from a one-story family home, is located near the Rapides Parish Courthouse.

The shooting rampage astounded people who knew Ashley.

'I've never heard him raise his voice. I never heard of him being violent,' said Charlie Gilmore, Ashley's neighbor and a local pastor.

Family members told The Town Talk Ashley was a deacon at a Baptist church and often played dominos with older residents in the central Louisiana town of about 46,000.

'He was such a good person, a church going man. I practically grew up with him,' said Ashley's cousin, Lee Hall.