California Hostage Situation: Dramatic 911 Calls

Two employees were held at gunpoint at a Northern California sporting goods store.
3:00 | 08/07/12

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Transcript for California Hostage Situation: Dramatic 911 Calls
Two employees at a sporting goods store, held hostage for hours. More on what went on. Reporter: Police say that encredibly dangerous hostage situation could have been worse. The sporting good store had a section filled with more firearms. But authorities are crediting two, young store employees, with saving the day. This is yuba city. We have gunshots in the store. Reporter:18-year-old allison taylor was greeting customers at the big 5 sporting goods store in yuba city, california, when suddenly, all hell broke loose. He lived up his shirt, pulled the gun out. And immediately pointed it at me. Reporter: Standing across from her, police say was this man, 29-year-old juan carlos alvarez. He raised the gun and let off a shot towards the ceiling. Reporter: As the alleged gunman screamed at customers to leave the store, taylor's manager called 911. I have a gunshot in the store. I need an officer here now. At big 5? Yes. I'm hiding under the desk in the office. Reporter: Meantime, across the store, 23-year-old matthew rasul was returning from a break when he spotted the mayhem. I think we're getting robbed. I see my manager and one of our part-time workers with her hands up. I'm not telling you to go out there. What is it that he said? Nothing. He said come over here. And he has one of our part-time He has somebody hostage? Automatically, I assumed the worst was going on. That's the scariest thing. Reporter: Around this time, taylor says alvarez grabbed her by the neck, grabbing her into the office where the store safe was located. I told him I didn't know how to open the safe. He said, I don't want the money. Reporter: For four hours, taylor says alvarez held her hostage, but never knew what he wanted. She chose to engage her captor. I knew in my mind it would be easier for him to shoot me if i didn't look him in the eye and didn't talk to him. Reporter: As the s.W.A.T. Team surrounded the store outside, inside, taylor says he continued reasoning with alvarez. And eventually, he put down his gun. I could tell he was upset. He wouldn't be able to see his daughter again. I knew that. I told him, as long as you don't hurt me, you can see your daughter again. Reporter: Finally, around 3:00 p.M., Police say hostage negotiators were able to convince alvarez to surrender peacefully, thanks in large part to taylor. She knew when to push and talk to him. When to just let him be. And you just can't thank her enough and be in awe of the instincts that young girl had. When he surrendered to police is when it all hit me that it was over and I was going to be okay. And it was honestly, just like a wave of relief. Reporter: And the 29-year-old suspect remains in jail. He is expected to appear in court today, facing charges from attempted robbery to kidnapping. As for the two, young employees. Both say they have a new appreciation for life. Amazingly, they both say they're ready to go back to work. Good for them. Taylor is a wise, young woman. Incredible story.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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