A young man held his former girlfriend hostage Saturday at gunpoint for five hours in the casino kitchen where she worked, then threatened to kill himself after releasing her, a police official said.

Darlene Cross, 21, suffered a broken arm and head cuts but was otherwise in good condition when she was released at 12:55 p.m., said police Lt. Randy Oaks.Her former boyfriend, Bobby Johnson, fired shots at other workers and security guards at the California Hotel and Casino, but there were no other serious injuries, Oaks said.

More than 40 police officers including a SWAT team, and a crowd in the hundreds surrounded the 12-story, downtown hotel after the incident began at 7:55 a.m.

After releasing Cross, Johnson, 25, told police he had his gun pointed at his chest, Oaks said.

Gamblers were allowed to continue playing in the casino, but no one was being allowed into the downtown complex.

The incident began when Johnson, a kitchen worker at a hotel on the Strip, walked into the kitchen and confronted Cross, said Oaks.

Norm Bullitt, a chef, said he chanced upon the confrontation.

"I heard this `girl' whimpering, pleading," Bullitt said. He said he ran to break up the fight but saw the man had a .357-caliber Magnum handgun.

"I stopped and looked at the guy, and he looked at me," Bullitt said. "He fired at me at point-blank range." Bullitt said the shot went over his shoulder, shattering glass behind him which cut another worker, and Bullitt managed to flee.