Upstate pastor held hostage in SC bank robbery - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Upstate pastor held hostage in SC bank robbery

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SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Deputies say four men wearing hoods and masks carrying multiple guns held up a Columbia bank Friday.

Deputies say the robbers fired shots into the ceiling, floor and windows of the Wells Fargo branch.

Witnesses reported the suspects made customers get on the floor, threatening to shoot them. Officials say the men shot at police as they made their escape, sparking a chase.

One of the suspects was killed in the manhunt and the others are now facing armed robbery, attempted murder and kidnapping charges.

Spartanburg Pastor Ray Davis says he was held hostage at that Wells Fargo Friday. Sunday he told FOX Carolina he's just happy to be alive and to have survived the terrible ordeal.

He said he was in the bank, setting up an account to collect fundraising dollars for his Spartanburg Church Grace House International Ministries. He and his family are selling balloons with stuffed animals to raise money to get a church building in the area.

Friday in Wells Fargo in Columbia, he heard a sound just like one of his balloons popping.

"I heard something go pop, pop, pop then, 'Everybody get on the floor!'" said Davis.  

Davis says four men ran into the bank and ordered employees to let them in the vault.

"They ran across my body six or seven times just because I was in front of the vault," said Davis.

Davis said the men demanded everyone in the bank to get on the ground and then the suspects fired shots into the air.

"The guy said, 'Look, if you don't get this thing open, I'm going to kill everyone,' and he shot two more times," said Davis.

Davis admits at first he was scared, but says his faith gave him courage.

"I was laying on the floor thinking, is this how it's going to end? Then I'm thinking, because I know God the way I do, I'll be alright," said Davis.

Before the suspects could get away, the police arrived. One of the suspects, 23-year-old Ramel Wright of Eastover, died on the scene after police officers fired a single gunshot to his torso.

Davis says the death has devastated him and even though his own life was threatened in the situation he only has forgiveness for the suspects and their families.

The three other suspects in this case are in custody at this time.

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