HOUSTON – An armored truck robbery suspect was shot and killed and another is on the run Tuesday morning in Willis, according to Willis Police Chief James Nowak.
At about 9:30 a.m., Willis police responded to a report of a robbery at a Chase Bank near the intersection of West Montgomery Street and Interstate 45.
Nowak said when officers arrived, they found a person had been shot. Paramedics performed lifesaving measures, but the person died at the scene, police say.
Witnesses later told police that person was one of the suspects in an attempted robbery of a Brink's armored truck. The guard of the truck was believed to be working on a Chase Bank ATM when the attackers approached and the guard then engaged in a shootout with them, police say. One suspect was struck in the gunfire though the guard was not hurt, Nowak said.
Another suspect fled on foot into a nearby wooded area and there is a manhunt underway, according to Willis police. The suspect is described as a tall, slender person dressed in black.
Anyone who might see someone who fits that description or might have suffered a gunshot wound is asked to call 911 immediately. The person might be armed.
Witness John Espericeta described the chaos in the area when the shootout began.
"Everybody is panicking. People running, cars taking off, people scared," Espericeta said. "There was like four or five gunshots."
The suspect who was killed "was halfway in the car and halfway out," Espericeta said.
“And we see the male (second suspect) wearing all black. He ran across the street to the car wash and hid behind a dumpster because he was hit,” Espericeta said.
What Brinks is saying
Brinks, the company which operates the armored truck that was involved in the incident, released the following written statement:
“We’re grateful that our employee was unharmed during this attempted robbery. We are fully cooperating with authorities on this active investigation.”