HOUSTON - Four men have been taken into custody and charged Wednesday after they were connected to a string of armored-truck robberies in the Houston area, police said.
One man was killed during a morning standoff with police as the men attempted to rob an armored-truck filled with undercover police officers, according to officials.
The shooting was reported about 11 a.m. near the intersection of Imperial Valley Drive and Sam Houston Parkway East.
According to new Houston police Chief Art Acevedo, several officers, including members of SWAT, were in place at two banks in north Houston as part of an investigation into the robbery spree.
Acevedo said officers drove an armored truck to the Amegy Bank located at the intersection and two armed people arrived and tried to rob the truck. “These are suspects who are willing to take lives, suspects that are violent,” Acevedo said.
A SWAT sniper who was stationed on a nearby roof fired at least two shots at the robbers while ground officers moved in to arrest them, Acevedo said. Those people were arrested without being injured.
Acevedo said that at the same time, officers tried to arrest a man in a vehicle that was parked at a nearby apartment complex. The man, who was an accomplice of the robbers, pulled out a gun and exchanged fire with the officers. He was shot several times.
Acevedo said the man who was shot by officers was taken to Ben Taub Hospital, where he died.
“He was going to kill a man who is probably getting paid 20 bucks an hour to try to feed his family during the holidays,” Acevedo said. “These people have no respect for the sanctity of life.”
Nearby Marcella Intermediate School was locked down before the operation began, Acevedo said.
“You see this happening and it’s like ‘wow!’, it’s pretty crazy,” said Chris Romero, who works at a nearby restaurant.
The men involved have been identified as Marc Anthony Hill, 46, Trayvees Duncan-Bush, 29, and Nelson Alexander Polk, 37. The fourth man John Edward Scott, 40, fled, but was later taken into custody, according to the District Attorney's office.
The men have been charged with conspiracy to commit interference with commerce by robbery and aiding and abetting the use of a firearm during a crime of violence, according to officials.
If convicted the men could face 20 years in federal prison for the robbery, officials said.