Friday, January 28, 2011
Alleged Bank Robber Takes Hostage - Shot And Killed By Police After Slipping And Falling On Ice
TAKOMA PARK, Md. - At least one civilian was injured by gunshot wounds Friday, along with a suspect and a police officer, after a woman was taken hostage during a bank robbery in Takoma Park, authorities said.
Montgomery County fire department Assistant Chief Scott Graham said four people were injured. He says a second civilian was also injured, possibly with a puncture wound to the shoulder.
Video from the incident shows a man walking out of a Capitol One bank on University Boulevard toward police officers using a woman as a shield. As he was backing away from police, he tripped over a pile of snow from this week's snow storm. She ran away from the suspect toward police and held her hands up to cover her ears.
Witnesses said gunfire erupted shortly after. It wasn't immediately clear who shot first.
Prince George's County fire department spokesman Mark Brady said one civilian who is not the suspect was taken to a hospital with gunshot wounds. A Prince George's County police officer also was shot, but the wounds are not life-threatening as he was grazed in the leg, Brady said. It is possible that the Prince George’s Police officer who was shot was struck by the fire of another officer.
Prince George's County police spokeswoman Lt. Tammy Sparkman said the suspect also was shot. His condition was not immediately known.
Bill Benjamin, who witnessed the incident from a nearby store, told WTTG-TV that he had walked outside to take out the trash. He said he heard three quick shots fired and saw police chase down the suspect.
"He looked like he was struggling to get away," Benjamin said. "Then they put him in the police car."
Herschel Ivy, who saw the incident from across the street, told WTTG-TV that he saw the suspect's hands go up when shots were fired. Ivy said he heard seven or eight gunshots fired as a woman who was held hostage ran toward police.
"She ran directly through the cordon of police officers," Ivy said. "You couldn't tell if they were firing from the left or from the right."
Several police and fire departments responded to the scene because Takoma Park is near the border between Montgomery and Prince George's counties in Maryland.