Two cops shot, two bank robbers killed in Westminster

20 Nov

WESTMINSTER — Both suspects in the robbery of a Westminster bank are dead and two police officers including the deputy chief were injured following a chase and shootout, authorities say.

Officer Sean Chandler was shot in the hip and hospitalized at St. Anthony Central hospital in stable condition, Westminster police spokesman Trevor Materasso said. Deputy Police Chief Tim Carlson was shot. He was treated at the scene and not hospitalized, Materasso said.

Both suspects were shot in their car. The male suspect was killed during the shootout. The wounded female suspect was taken to St. Anthony Central hospital where she later died, Materasso said.

The chase began shortly after 11:51 a.m., when police received a report of a bank robbery at the FirstBank at 120th Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard in Westminster.

A man and a woman entered the bank and both displayed weapons. The duo got an undisclosed amount of cash and fled.

A patrol officer spotted the suspect vehicle at 104th Avenue and Federal Boulevard and a pursuit began, during which the suspects were firing at the police car from their vehicle.

Witnesses there saw an unmarked police car and the suspect vehicle pull slowly between a Safeway gas station and a strip mall. Apartments and single-family homes are nearby.

A person inside the small sedan fired a single shot at the police car through the vehicle’s back window, shattering it to pieces, said 43-year-old Shad Grothe of Littleton, one of four construction workers

A car near the scene of reported Westminster robbery and shooting.

Two more shots followed, each sharply ringing off the officer’s car, the workers said.

“I could hear ‘Pow! Ding!…Pow! Ding!’ ” Grothe said. “It must have hit the grille or something.”

The workers scrambled for cover — one diving to the snow-covered ground, others behind a yellow John Deere tractor and pile of concrete debris.

Grothe bolted for a gas station convenience store hoping to get behind bulletproof glass, he said.

Patrons at the gas station hit the floor for cover.

The gunman fired two more shots, the workers said, before the car turned back out to Federal Boulevard.

The workers estimated between four and six shots were fired.

“I looked up and said, “Oh , the cops got somebody!’ His lights were on,” said another worker, Andy Sprague, of Centennial. “I thought he pulled him over for running a stop sign or something. Then all of a sudden: ‘Boom! Boom!…Boom!’ ”

From 104th the police pursuit continued to the intersection of 120th and Federal, Materasso said. The patrol officer and a second police officer were able to force the suspect vehicle, a silver sedan, to spin out. At that point, two police officers and the two suspects were firing at one another. The suspects were using small-caliber handguns.

“This is a very hard scene to investigate, with multiple locations, a bank robbery, a pursuit, a pit maneuver,” Materasso said. “The Westminster police department working with several agencies to investigate multiple crime scenes.”

The bank is on the Broomfield border; Federal at 103rd is in Federal Heights; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation is also involved in any bank robbery.

One witness said the officers’ maneuver resulted in a huge car crash, which was followed by what sounded like 40 or 50 rounds fired. “It was like fireworks,” she said.

She said police surrounded the car. She saw a woman pulled from the vehicle and put in an ambulance.

Jackie France, manager of the Caribou Coffee shop at 2721 W. 120th Ave., said customers had witnessed the shootout.

She said bullets sprayed the Sherlock Holmes Baker Street Pub at 2831 W. 120th Avenue. A woman answering the phone at the pub said staff there had been told not to comment.

An employee at Edible Arrangements, 2821 W. 120th Ave., a company that makes fruit baskets, said their delivery driver called them during the shootout and warned them to stay inside.

“He saw what happened and they took him down to the police station,” said the Edible Arrangements employee.

She confirmed that the Baker Street Pub had been hit by bullets during the shootout.

from the Denver Post.

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One Response to “Two cops shot, two bank robbers killed in Westminster”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Bad week for bank robbers « 'Til it Breaks – Denver anarchist news - 20th Nov 2009

    […] it Breaks – Denver anarchist news social war denver « Two cops shot, two bank robbers killed in Westminster Bad week for bank robbers 20November09 There have been three tragic defeats for bank […]

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