A Phoenix business owner saw a bank robbery beginning to unfold in the strip mall where he works and decided to take action to defend his neighbors. He grabbed his own gun, snatched the keys from the robber’s still running and undefended car, and laid in wait for the robbers as they left the store, toting a bin full of cash.
When they suspects emerged, the business owner opened fire.
Two armed suspects wearing masks entered the Desert Schools Credit Union near Cactus and Tatum around 3 p.m. and attempted to rob it, police said. A witness then opened fire on the suspects. It is not known if the suspects returned fire.
Authorities said one of the suspects was shot and transported to a local hospital where he died. The second suspect fled the bank and stole a vehicle from someone at gunpoint, damaging several cars as he fled.
That suspect struck a mini-van, which then ran into a wall near 44th Street and Thunderbird. Two people in the mini van were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. The suspect was taken into custody.
A comment on the article seems to sum up the area’s attitude.
The business owner took a great deal of personal risk in choosing to take action to stop the bank robbers, and it appears that the decision paid off with a thwarted crime, a suspect in custody, and another customer in the morgue. Fortunately no one was hit by errant or over-penetrating gun shots, and the two people injured when the second robber failed in his attempt to escape.
Police said that the nearby business owner’s decision to intervene was legally justified and that he will not face charges. They did stress that such a decision is extremely dangerous.
They also stated that they believed this was not the first bank robbery for the dead and captured suspects, but did not elaborate.