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Deputy Kills Man, Arrests Another in Bank Holdup

March 06, 2004|Richard Winton and Regine Labossiere | Times Staff Writers

One suspect was shot to death by a sheriff's deputy and another was arrested Friday after a bank robbery in Norwalk, investigators said.

Officials said the suspect was shot when he sprang from the trunk of a car the deputy was tailing and raised a pellet gun. After the shooting, the deputy arrested the male driver of the car. Neither suspect was immediately identified.

A Sheriff's Department spokesman said the deputy had begun following the white Cadillac about 2 p.m., shortly after receiving a radio report about the holdup at a Washington Mutual branch on Rosecrans Avenue.

The deputy, whose name was not released, followed the car a few blocks until it stopped, said Deputy Scott Butler.

"Suddenly, the second suspect emerged from the trunk and pointed a handgun at the deputy," Butler said. "The deputy fired several rounds, striking the suspect."

The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. Butler said a pellet gun was recovered. Butler said he did not know why the suspect was in the trunk.

Deputies did not say how much money was taken in the holdup, but they said that at least some of it was recovered. Deputies called in an armored vehicle and searched several houses near the shooting scene at Roseton Avenue and Van Ruiten Street after witnesses reported seeing other suspects flee. But the reports turned out to be erroneous.

Norwalk sheriff's Sgt. Steven Paul said a deputy had just arrived at the scene of an auto accident near the bank when some employees and customers came out to say a robbery was in progress. Investigators said the deputy saw the robber get in a car and broadcast a radio report. Hearing a report of the robbery, the other deputy gave chase.

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Times staff writer Doug Smith contributed to this report.

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