Suspect killed by police suspected of at least one other bank robbery
-- Sun-Times Media Wire and Pioneer Press December 17, 2013 10:42AM
Surveillance photo of the suspect shot and killed by police after the robbery at Chase Bank in the 900 block of Grove Street in Evanston. / photo from the FBI's Bandit Tracker site
EVANSTON — A suspected bank robber shot and killed by police outside a north suburban bakery late Monday afternoon is also suspected of robbing a North Side bank last week, according to the FBI.
Evanston police responded just after 3 p.m. Monday to a robbery at the Chase Bank branch in the 900 block of Grove Street, according to a statement from police.
A teller gave police a description of the suspect, and officers saw a man matching that description walking west on Grove Street away from the bank, police said.
Several officers confronted the man next to Bennison’s Bakery and shot him after he refused to drop the weapon he was holding, police said.
He was taken to Evanston Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 3:35 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. His identity was not released early Tuesday morning.
Evanston Police Commander Jay Parrott said shortly after 5:30 p.m. police are withholding the man’s identity until they contact family.
“He was given every opportunity” to surrender, Parrott said.
Authorities recovered an undisclosed amount of cash from the bank and a 9mm handgun, police said. No one else was injured.
According to the FBI, the man is suspected of at least one other bank robbery last week in the Uptown neighborhood, and could have committed others.
“We’re looking at the possibility that he carried out other robberies,” FBI spokesperson Joan Hyde said.
During the robbery that took place about 4 p.m. last Thursday at the TCF Bank branch at 4355 N. Sheridan Rd., the man approached a teller and made a “verbal demand” for cash, Hyde said. The teller did not have any cash, so he approached another teller and produced a bag.
The teller saw what looked like a gun in the bag and gave the man some cash, Hyde said.
The shooting Monday took place during a slow afternoon stretch at Gigio’s Pizza 1001 Davis St., so employee Victor Ortiz had time to watch the situation unfold across Davis from the restaurant’s front window, just outside Bennison’s Bakery.
After seeing a couple of police cars drive by, Ortiz said, “I saw a gentleman walking north bound on Maple when about 10 police officers swarmed the area.”
“They’re telling him to drop the bag, to drop it, and the next thing I know they opened fire, I’m guessing nine or 10 shots fired. It sounded like fireworks. The guy just dropped.”
Angelina Mueller was working her shift as supervisor at Bennison’s when she heard yelling and looked out the bakery window.
“Suddenly there were cops coming from every angle,” she said. “They were like, ‘Put that away, put it down,’ and then they started shooting.”
She and others inside the bakery couldn’t initially see the man who had been cornered against the east wall of the store, but Mueller said she was later able to move position, and saw him lying on the ground.
“They had what looked like a ventilator mask on him,” and a towel covering a section of his abdomen, Mueller said.
Maple Street was closed from Grove to Davis streets as police investigated.
The FBI is investigating both bank robberies, Hyde said, but police are handling the investigation into the shooting.
The Evanston Police Office of Professional Standards and the Illinois State Police Public Integrity Unit will investigate the officer-involving shooting, police said.