The young man who robbed a branch of the Banco Popular (People's Bank) in Alicante on April 5th, where he held as hostages different persons for more than 12 hours, and who was intercepted by the police as he was trying to escape on a motorbike, was found hanged in his cell in Centro Penitenciario (Penitentiary Centre) in Foncalent.
The lifeless body of José Iván G.M. was found at 7:55 AM on Tuesday by an employee that was making the usual morning count of the prisoners. It appears that the young man, of 27 years of age, used the shoestrings of a pair of shoes to suffocate himself with them.
The penitentiary centre indicated that nobody believed the young man would commit suicide, despite the fact that during the robbery he stated that he would rather die than return to jail. After his arrival to the prison in Alicante, he was attended by a psychiatrist and a team of psychologists and social workers, in front of which he showed no intention of wanting to commit suicide.
The same experts indicated that "nothing seemed to indicate that J.I.G.M. was going to take this decision, he seemed OK on the contrary, as "a suicide prevention instinct had activated itself within him". Therefore, the young man seemed to lead a "normal" penitentiary life, and was taking part in prison recreational activities where he maintained a normal attitude since he was imprisoned on April the 20th, 2004.
J.I.G.M. was detained on the night of April the 5th, after more than 12 hours of isolation in a branch of Banco Popular, located in the Gran Vía (Main St.) of Alicante. The young man intented to rob the branch, armed with a handgun and a handgrenade, but an en employee of Prosegur [sounds like a security firm - my comments] that had parked his van in the vicinity realised what was happening and alerted the Police.
Having seen himself without escape, the young man decided to barricade himself in the branch, taking hostage 8 persons, 3 of which were employees of the bank, and the rest - clients that happened to find themselves in the branch at that time.
During the siege, thanks to the ongoing negotiations performed by the Special Police, he let the hostages go one by one, until only 2 were left with him inside, the branch manager and one client.
Meanwhile, the father of the attacker had travelled from Madrid in order to bring reason to his son, and to convince him to give himself up. After four hours of trying, there was no progress.
In the last few hours, the attacker requested a motorbike with the intention of fleeing. Shortly after, he was intercepted by a Police patrol, fell to the ground, was immobilized and detained.
After his arrest, he was moved to the Alicante General Hospital, where he was committed with serious injuries, apparently caused by the fall. Therefore, for the first few days of his detention in Foncalent he was admitted to the infirmary of the penitenciary centre. However, shortly after he integrated "normally" with the rest of the detained population.