Police: 1 bank robbery suspect dead, 1 hurt in shooting
LUTHERVILLE, Md. (AP) -- A police officer fatally shot a man who had robbed a suburban Baltimore bank and injured a second man involved in the robbery, firing through the windshield of their oncoming car Friday, authorities said.
The shooting occurred as officers were seeking suspects shortly after Friday afternoon following a bank robbery nearby, Baltimore County Police Cpl. John Watchter said, adding both men are black.
No weapons were recovered from the car or were found at the scene, authorities said. They identified the driver as the dead man who died at a hospital and added the injuries to the second man, who is in custody, didn't appear life-threatening.
County police spokeswoman Elise Armacost tweeted later that the injured passenger was wanted in three area bank robberies by the FBI and nicknamed "The Aviator" because of photos circulated by that federal agency showing the suspect sporting aviator-style sunglasses inside banks. The FBI only Thursday had said it was seeking the public's help in identifying "The Aviator."
Neither man's identity was immediately released.
Armacost also tweeted that the men had robbed a Wells Fargo Bank outlet earlier Friday about four miles from the shooting scene in Pikesville.
Wachter told reporters that a patrol sergeant had stopped traffic shortly after the bank robbery to try and block a likely escape route.
"That patrol sergeant encountered a vehicle in that line of vehicles," Wachter said. "At some point, the sergeant fired multiple times."
Armacost said the officer fired on the car "as the vehicle was coming toward the officer," adding that he fired through the front windshield.
Novelist Dan Fesperman, a former reporter for The Baltimore Sun, said he was driving nearby when he saw a police car parked sideways at an intersection, blocking traffic.
He told The Associated Press by phone he then heard gunfire - "four quick pops in succession."
A green car was weaving in the road and surged into the intersection, coasted a bit and then smashed into a car ahead of him, Fesperman said. "Police came running up to the green car, smashed the window on the passenger side, (and) pulled out the guy." Officers handcuffed the man and took him away, he added.
Fesperman said he got out of his car, took a few steps and saw first responders "giving vigorous CPR" to another man. "(The man) had blood on his head, his shirt was off, and oxygen mask was on and they were pumping his chest," he said.
After the shooting, the car the men were riding in struck another car.
Wachter said one officer who responded to the shooting scene was wearing a body camera, and that the footage has been downloaded but has not yet been reviewed.
An FBI spokesman in Baltimore did not immediately return a call seeking comment about the developments Friday. The agency had issued a message Thursday appealing for the public's help in identifying the wanted person nicknamed "The Aviator." The message said he was being sought in three robberies this month in the area: Sept. 1 in Dundalk and Sept. 9 and Sept. 20 in Baltimore.
"While talking on his cellphone, the suspect approaches the counter, hands the bank employee a note announcing an armed robbery, and demands money," the FBI said. "After receiving money, he flees the location on foot." Photos circulated by the FBI of the wanted man showed him inside the banks, wearing aviator-style sunglasses and a cap.
The shooting comes two days after a man injured in a struggle with county police died. The man, Tawon Boyd, 21, and three officers were hurt Sunday in what police said was a violent struggle to restrain Boyd and take him to a hospital for an emergency evaluation. A county fire department medic administered a medication to calm him and he was taken to the hospital, where he died Wednesday. The police and fire departments are investigating his death, and an autopsy is pending. Boyd was black.
Boyd died the same day the county prosecutor announced he would not charge an officer who killed Korryn Gaines, a 23-year-old black woman. Police and prosecutors said Gaines pointed a shotgun at officers last month during a standoff at her apartment.
Associated Press reporter Kasey Jones contributed to this story from Baltimore.