A gunman who said he wanted to die took two people hostage Saturday in a crowded discount store and wounded two officers before he was killed by police.

The man released one hostage about 90 minutes after jumping a bank counter in the store. He shot at police when officers tried to rescue the second hostage, and police killed him, police said. Neither hostage, both bank employees, was harmed.At least 300 people were evacuated from the sprawling Fred Meyer Gateway store soon after the ordeal began about 2 p.m. The gunman was killed 31/2 hours later.

The gunman told The Associated Press by phone from inside the store that he wanted to die in a shootout with police because he didn't have the courage to kill himself.

He refused to give his name and said he intended to release the hostages after a couple of hours, then come out shooting. He said he was 18 years old.