Two officers, one suspect shot after bank robbery attempt

Monday, May 6, 2002

Associated Press WriterBRENTWOOD, Tenn. (AP) -- Two police officers were wounded and a suspect killed during a Monday gun battle along a busy thoroughfare following a bank robbery, authorities said.

The incident began about 1 p.m. after a robbery at the Bank of America branch in this suburb just south of Nashville, said a spokesman for Nashville police, which were assisting with the investigation.

"As the suspects fled, they were confronted by Brentwood police," spokesman Don Aaron said. "Two Brentwood police officers were shot."

Katrina Lopiccollo, a clerk at an Exxon station across the street from the bank, was standing by one of the gas pumps when shots were fired less than 100 feet away.

A Brentwood Police car was heading north up when a man with a long gun walked across a parking lot and into the four-lane street, she said.

"He just walked out on the street and starting shooting into the police car. He walked right toward it and kept shooting," Lopiccollo said.

Two officers were shot before another policeman on the street behind the vehicle then shot the suspect, who fell to the ground, she said.

The suspect was dead at the scene, but the officers' injuries were not life-threatening, Aaron said.

One officer, a 37-year-old man, was to undergo surgery for gunshot wounds to his left leg and foot, said Vanderbilt University Medical Center spokesman Wayne Wood. The other officer, a 26-year-old woman, was shot in the lower right arm, he said.

Both officers were able to talk to doctors in the emergency room, he said.

Lunchtime traffic at the busy intersection of Old Hickory Boulevard and Franklin Road was blocked as police responded to the robbery and shooting. Helicopters could be heard circling overhead as authorities looked for other suspects.

But after two hours of searching, authorities were reconsidering whether another assailant was involved.

"We are not sure if there was a second person," Aaron said. "We had an initial report from witnesses that they saw someone running behind buildings. We don't know if there's a second suspect."

Police believe the dead man was involved in a bank robbery earlier in the day in Nashville, Aaron said.

Samantha Ingle, a cashier at the Sip of Seattle coffee kiosk, saw a suspect standing in the middle of Franklin Road shooting at police with a long gun.

"I could see the sparks every time he shot," she said. "I was dumbfounded. It was surreal."

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