The hostage standoff has been used countless times in television and the movies, to the point it’s now a cliche. The bad guy takes a hostage and uses her (it’s almost always a her) as a human shield, and threatens to kill her unless the police allow him to escape.

Invariably, an officer with nerves of steel calmly takes aim at the criminal and fires a single shot, dropping the violent thug and saving the innocent hostage.

Of course, that only happens in the movies

An unidentified robbery suspect was taken to a hospital early Wednesday morning after being shot by a Durham police officer at a McDonald’s on Tower Boulevard.

Police Chief Jose Lopez released few details about the ongoing investigation during a 10 a.m. news conference, but he said multiple officers responded to the fast-food restaurant at about 4 a.m. after dispatchers received a call about a robbery.

The lights inside the restaurant were off when officers arrived, but Lopez said officers noticed movement inside.

When officers entered the restaurant, they saw a man with his arm around the neck of a female employee. The man repeatedly threatened to kill the woman, Lopez said, and after a brief standoff one of the officers fired one shot, striking the man in the face.

Unlike the movies, however, the suspect in this incident survived the headshot, which people tend to do a surprising percentage of the time unless the shooter hits the fabled “t-zone” precisely.

The suspect was conscious when taken to the hospital, and Durham police are hoping that he makes a speedy and full recovery so that they can pile more charges onto him and send him to prison for a very long time.

The owner of the McDonald’s is relieved that none of his employees were physically injured in the incident, though he suspects that they’ll need some trauma counseling to deal with the psychological after-effects of the incident.