01/08/2004

La. Deputy Killed in Bank Robbery

Officer Down: Deputy Sidney Zaffuto - [New Orleans, Louisiana]

The Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- A bank robbery turned into a shootout Thursday that killed one deputy, wounded another and also wounded two of the three suspects.

The uninjured robber fled from the bank but was caught a short distance away, authorities said. The two wounded robbers were taken to a hospital.

Deputy Sidney Zaffuto, 50, died from a wound to the chest, while Capt. Andrew Jenkins, 48, was shot in the leg, Sheriff Charles Foti said.

Jenkins was expected to recover, Foti said.

"He's got some broken bones, lost a lot of blood," Foti said. "He's waiting to see if there's nerve damage, but after some proper time for convalescing, hopefully he'll be back on duty."

Sheriff's spokeswoman Mary Baldwin Kennedy said the deputies were off duty and working a private security job for the bank when the robbery occurred.

The shootout took place inside a branch of Iberia Bank in the Algiers section of the city, across the Mississippi River from the French Quarter.

There was no word whether any customers were in the bank or how many tellers were at work.

Police cruisers could be seen blocking highway exits and downtown intersections to keep lanes open for ambulances coming across the Mississippi River bridge to the city's Charity Hospital.

Foti said all three suspects, whose names he did not give, were in their 40s and 50s. Details were not immediately available on the conditions of the two wounded robbery suspects.

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