A suspected armed robber was found dead Tuesday evening inside a Colton bank after shooting and slightly wounding an officer, authorities said.
A silent alarm sent officers to the Chase Bank about 6 p.m. Tuesday. As they approached, the suspect fired at them from inside the bank, shooting through the glass and wounding one officer in the neck, Sgt. Ray Mendez of the Colton Police Department said. The injury is said to be minor.
Authorities say customers and employees managed to leave the bank, leaving the gunman alone inside. The bank was surrounded. KNBC-TV Channel 4 said a SWAT team entered about 9 p.m. and found a dead man who was believed to be the robbery suspect.
It’s not immediately clear whether he was wounded by police or shot himself. Mendez said preliminary reports indicated that witnesses said the suspect was down inside the bank with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Mendez said he couldn’t confirm whether the suspect was dead but said that the suspect was lying inside the bank and hadn’t moved, and that no emergency medical personnel were on scene to treat his wounds.
The area near the bank at Washington Street and Cooley Drive remained closed Tuesday evening as the investigation continued.
SWAT team members were still inside the bank late Tuesday trying to determine the contents of a suspicious backpack or bag. They will probably use a robot to determine whether there were any explosives in the bag, Mendez said.
“It’s still a very active investigation,” he said. “All this information is still preliminary, and as the night goes on, we will know more.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.