Discuss as:

Five dead, including suspect, in bungled Israel bank raid

Dudu Greenspan/AP

An Israeli woman is taken out of a bank in the town of Beersheba, southern Israel, on Monday after an attempted robbery in which at least five people were killed.

Editor's note: This story includes a correction.

TEL AVIV, Israel -- Five people died on Monday after a robber tried to hold up a bank in southern Israel and then took a woman hostage for over an hour, officials said. The robber shot himself dead as police closed in, police said.

The robber carried out the botched heist in a residential street in Beersheba at about lunchtime local time, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said on Monday. It was a branch of Bank Hapoalim, Reuters reported.

"The moment he entered the bank he started killing," Rosenfeld added on Tuesday.  

The suspect remained at the scene and took a woman hostage, officials said. The woman was freed after he shot himself dead.

Police initially said there were two robbers but later revised that to one.  The error was discovered after a man initially thought to have been one of the robbers was taken to hospital and treated for gunshot wounds, Rosenfeld said.

“Four people have been killed and the robber apparently shot himself dead. The scene is now clear," Reuters quoted regional police commander Yoram Levy as telling Israel Radio.

Israeli media reports said the four victims were three bank employees and a customer, Reuters reported.

Four civilians were injured, Rosenfeld said. 

Violent bank heists are rare in Israel. In 2011, a robber killed a security guard in a bank in the center of the country.

Reuters and NBC News' Alastair Jamieson contributed to this report.