Alleged bank robber shot dead, deputy injured during chase
POMPANO BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- Police had to shut down Interstate 95 northbound for hours Friday after a police-involved chase, crash and shooting that left a suspect dead and a police officer hospitalized.
One police officer had to be transported to the hospital following the incident, between Copans and Sample Roads, at around 11:20 a.m. Friday. Meanwhile, a suspect lay dead among several crashed cars, including a police patrol car.
According to the Broward Sheriff's Office, it began with police responding to an attempted robbery at a Chase Branch, about three miles away from the crash scene, on the 2200 block on North Federal Highway. It turns out the suspect was not stranger to this bank. FBI Agent David Bell noted, "We've been looking for this individual now for about eight months. He has hit numerous banks ... particular banks he's hit numerous times, including the bank he went to today. He's hit it two other times."
He entered the bank in a ski-mask and pointed a gun at a customer's head and demanded cash. He aborted the bank robbery once he realized the bank had installed bulletproof glass to protect the tellers, and he couldn't jump over the counter. After The suspect took off in a gray pickup truck, a bank employee and a citizen took down his license tag.
While driving northbound on 95, an officer noticed the pickup truck and tried to stop him. The suspect collided with the patrol car and both of them skidded off the road.
BSO said, the suspect exited the smashed vehicle with a gun in hand, and he was shot dead. Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti did not identify the suspect but did detail some of his alleged accomplishments. "Another serial bank robber is taken off the streets of Broward County," he said, "and this was a serial bank robber with a criminal history going back to 1977, has served three years in federal prison for bank robbery."
A police officer, later identified as 48-year-old German Bickbau of the Pompano Beach substation, was injured when he too ran off the roadway during the crash and then struck a barrier wall. Air rescue was called out to transport the officer, who is a 12-year veteran with BSO. He had complained of neck and stomach pain, but he is in stable condition at the hospital.
The helicopter's landing forced the initial closure of the highway both north and southbound. Up until 4 p.m., the northbound lanes were completely closed as police continued to investigate. Though they re-opened three lanes for traffic, the back ups continued for some time.
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