A hostage standoff at the Rite Aid in Camden ended with the release of the hostage and the gunman taking his own life.

"At approximately 7:30 p.m. Sept. 15, Robert Beerman, 34, of Camden, entered the Rite Aid Pharmacy on Elm Street in Camden with a sawed-off shotgun and when he made the initial entry he released everyone in the building except for one pharmacist," said Camden Police Chief Randy Gagne. "State Police, Camden police, Rockport, Rockland, the Knox County Sheriff, the state Fire Marshal's office, converged on the scene and locked down the area immediately. Mr. Beerman was inside with the pharmacist, the state police tactical team and negotiator arrived and began to negotiate with Beerman inside the building."

Gagne continued, "At approximately 11 p.m. the one hostage that was an employee was released. Negotiations with Mr. Beerman continued for several hours more and there was a period of about 40 minutes where no communication had been made with Mr. Beerman and it was decided at that time the state police would breach the front door to gain access to the building, there was no further negotiations at that time. State police entered the building to find Mr. Beerman deceased in the back employee break room,"

"The cause of death looks to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound," he said.

According to Gagne, the hostage was not hurt and was understandably shaken. Police will continue to question the hostage and the investigation is ongoing. Police would not speculate on a motive.

Gagne did verify, however, that Beerman had been arrested a few weeks prior for a break-in at Cuzzy's Bar and Grill on Bay View Street. According to Camden Herald archives, Beerman was arrested Aug. 16 after police watched him on surveillance video break into a lock box with a pair of pliers, drink alcohol and wipe away his fingerprints while stumbling around the restaurant. He was released on bail after he made his initial appearance in court in August and was scheduled to appear in court at the end of October for burglary charges related to that incident.

Police earlier in the evening surrounded Rite Aid and blocked off Route 1 to traffic; the road remained closed through much of the night and into the early morning hours.

There have been numerous robberies at that location during the past few years, with the most recent taking place in 2012.

A sign posted outside the store, flanked by broken doors and shattered glass, states The Camden location will remain closed Sept. 16, but expects to reopen at its usual time Sept. 17.

Camden Herald Editor Stephanie Grinnell contributed to this report.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct Robert Beerman's age, which was incorrectly stated by police. He was 34.