Two police officers are on administrative leave, a bank robber is dead and the money recovered.
Police say it all happened in a matter of minutes.
A West St. Paul credit union was being robbed when police were alerted to the crime. They responded and found the bank was locked. An employee was arriving to work and let the officers inside.
West. St. Paul Police Chief Manila Shaver says once inside the officers say the robber holding an employee near the vault. The man was armed.
That's when the officers confronted the armed robber.
The officers and the robber struggled as they moved out of the bank. Two other officers arrived, saw their colleagues in trouble and moved to help. The suspect was shot outside the building’s front entrance.
He died a short time later, at Region’s Hospital.
"The suspect was displaying a weapon and the officers responded appropriately," West St. Paul Police Chief Bud Shaver said.
Four officers responded, police wouldn’t say how many fired shots or how many shots were fired. A nearby witness tells KARE 11 she heard two gun shots.
"Everyone followed proper procedure. Obviously you never want something like this to happen," Retail Employees Credit Union CEO Pat Haggerty said.
He said two employees were getting the bank ready for daily business at 7:45 a.m., which is fifteen minutes before the credit union normally opens for business.
Police suspect the man pushed his way into the credit union as an employee was arriving for work. He struggled with police, made it out the front door with a duffel bag full of cash in one hand and a semi-automatic handgun in the other.
The investigation is complex. FBI agents will conduct the bank robbery investigation. Dakota County deputies will handle the shooting investigation to avoid a conflict of interest within the West St. Paul Police Department.
All four officers are now on paid administrative leave.
The weapon, the bag with the cash, and a car believed to be tied to the suspect were all recovered. "I’m just very thankful that our staff is fine," Haggerty said.
The Retail Employees Credit Union was hit by the infamous fishing hat bandit bank robber a couple years ago. Since the last robbery, off duty West St. Paul police officers have been working security. There was not an off duty officer working at the time of this robbery.
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