11/10/2006

Texas bank robber shot by off-duty officer

By Lauren D'Avolio, Staff Writer
The Dallas Morning News

PLANO - Gunfire erupted in a Plano bank Wednesday when a police officer working as a security guard chased after two would-be robbers.

The shooting continued into the alley behind MetroBank on West Park Boulevard when the men fled about 2 p.m.

The officer chased the two men and shot one of them before both suspects were arrested, police said. The injury was not life threatening.

Cary Myers, who works for FedEx Ground, was parked near the bank when he saw a man in a hooded sweatshirt enter the branch.

"I was wondering why someone would [wear that] on a hot day," Mr. Myers said.

Plano police spokesman Andrae Smith said the off-duty Plano officer was in full uniform and noticed the two men enter the building.

"The officer saw that they were armed, and gunfire erupted," Officer Smith said.

Plano police would not release the officer's name or those of the suspects.

Mr. Myers heard two shots fired inside the bank, then two more from the alley.

He saw the men running from the bank, one of them hobbling. The suspects lumbered toward his truck.

"I was thinking, please don't jump in my truck, please don't jump in my truck," Mr. Myers said. "I looked back over at the bank, and the police officer came running out."

One of the suspects, panting and frenzied, sought refuge in a Vision Source within the same shopping center.

Jeanie Brown, who works there, didn't know there had been a bank robbery nearby.

"I just thought he was somebody on drugs, the way he was acting," she said.

The man told Ms. Brown he wanted to buy a pair of prescription sunglasses. He acted erratically, so she insisted he make an appointment and hoped he would leave. She asked for his name, and he quickly gave her one. Then, he spat out a birth date - and a phone number. No one answered at the number he gave Ms. Brown.

Then he asked to use the restroom before police arrived and arrested him.

"It was an ordeal," Ms. Brown said. "It was a little scary. It all happened so fast."

The officer chased the other man into a nearby residential neighborhood, where he was arrested on Promontory Point, Officer Smith said.

Copyright 2006 THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS

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