Belmont Man Accused of CVS Robbery, Standoff In Custody

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CHARLOTTE, NC– A man accused of holding three people hostage inside a local convenience store was looking for drugs. Edwards Russ is in police custody. He faces several felony charges after attempting to rob a CVS store in Belmont.

According to Belmont Police, shortly before 2am Friday, 46-year-old Gaston Co. resident Edward Russ stormed in the CVS on Wilkinson Boulevard in Belmont.

Police say he held three people hostage with an assault rifle inside of the store while trying to steal prescription drugs, specifically the powerful pain-killer Percocet.

When police arrived on the scene, they say Russ fired several shots at them. Police returned fire, though we’re told nobody was injured.

Police say by 4am, all three hostages were released. Russ was then taken into police custody. He’s being held in Gaston County Prison on a $5 million bond.

Russ’ neighbor and life-long friend, Scott Emory, says he was with Russ Thursday night just hours before the incident. He says Russ seemed totally normal. “This seems completely from outer space,” says Emory, “… He’s had some trouble in the past, but nothing real big.”

Emory says he’s sad and stunned to see his friend get mixed up in so much trouble.

Russ will make his first appearance in court Monday afternoon. He’s facing a long list of charges including Kidnapping, Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon, Assault, Shooting at Law Enforcement, and Attempted First Degree Murder.