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Takoma Park bank robbery suspect shot after taking hostages; P.G. County cop shot (photo, video)

January 31, 2011 - 09:42 AM
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TAKOMA PARK, Md.  — Takoma Park and Prince George's County police shot and killed a bank robber who was holding a woman hostage at gunpoint Friday morning at the Capital One Bank on University Boulevard, authorities said.

Five employees and one customer were inside the bank when the suspect entered about 9:25 a.m. Friday. Takoma Park police received the first 911 call at 9:26 a.m. and were on the scene in 20 seconds, Chief Ronald Riccuci said. The first call mentioned a suspicious device. The second was a hangup. Prince George's County police received their own 911 call and responded.

Within minutes, more than a dozen officers were outside the bank. Inside, the customer struggled with the gunman and was pistol-whipped, police said.

The gunman, apparently spotting the arriving officers, took cover behind the counter, allowing all but one of the hostages to escape. Ten minutes later, he emerged from the bank, standing behind a teller he had taken hostage.

Randolph Douglas was watching from a few feet away. The gunman was holding his hostage by the neck, he recalled. She was crying. Police and the gunman were yelling at one other — just feet apart — as they walked along the sidewalk.

"He's got a gun to her head," an officer shouted into his radio.

Then the hostage had her chance.

The gunman slipped. As he regained his balance, she began to run toward the officers. As he followed, his gun raised, six officers -- three from Takoma Park and three from Prince George's County -- opened fire.

"In a split second, maybe 10 to 15 shot shots and he fell," Douglas recalled.

The gunman crumpled. He was later pronounced dead on the scene.

"Everybody had a job to do today and they did it," Chief Ricucci said. "I think we can say we had a successful conclusion."

Police handcuffed the gunman. They noticed something on his body with wires protruding. The bomb squad was called in but determined it was harmless — styrofoam wrapped with tape.

The scene played out in front of a TV news helicopter, which recorded the entire incident.

The gunman did not fire, police said, but he did point his weapon at officers, Chief Ricucci pointed out.

The hostage received a very minor scrape to her arm in the incident, and a Prince George's County police officer's leg was grazed by a bullet fragment. It was friendly-fire, police said.

The customer who was pistol whipped remained hospitalized.

 Investigators believe the gunman was acting alone. They searched but couldn't find a getaway vehicle. He was described only as a Hispanic man in his 40s who lived in the area. His identity was being withheld pending next-of-kin notification.

Capital One released a statement: "We're extremely grateful to the local authorities for their quick response to the situation. We have crisis counselors available to assist our associates and others who were part of this traumatic experience. The investigation is on-going and we'll defer to the authorities for any further details."

Montgomery County Police this weekend identified the six police officers who fired their guns at the bank robbery suspect in Takoma Park Friday morning in Montgomery County.

The three involved officers from the Takoma Park Police Department are: Acting Lieutenant Tyrone Collington, Sr., Support Services Division Commander, with the TPPD for 12 years; Corporal Thomas E. Black, Patrol Division, with the department for five years; and Private First Class David M. Quante, Jr., Patrol Division, with the department for five years.

The three involved officers from the Prince George's County Police Department are: Acting Sergeant Robbie Loveday, with the PGPD for 13 years; Corporal Bryan Medina, with the department eight years; and Police Officer First Class Osiris Lopez, Jr., with the department for five years. They are all assigned to the Hyattsville District Station.

As is standard procedure, the involved officers remain on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigations.

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