Staff Photo: Jason Braverman
Gwinnett Police investigate the area in a Kroger parking lot where a bank robbery suspect carjacked a vehicle on Tuesday.
DULUTH — An alleged bank robber died from gunshot wounds he sustained in a shootout with police around lunchtime Tuesday, the culmination of a wild chase throughout unincorporated Duluth.
The suspect — whose identity has not yet been released — reportedly robbed the Bank of America at 1014 Old Peachtree Road in Suwanee at about 11:30 a.m., using a handgun to make out with an undisclosed amount of money.
Officers later located the black man in his tan Honda Civic near Boggs Road and Duluth Highway. They gave pursuit up Old Norcross Road until the intersection with Pleasant Hill Road, Gwinnett County police spokesman Cpl. Edwin Ritter said.
“The individual struck several vehicles in the intersection and our officers backed off for the safety of the other citizens in the area,” he said.
The suspect, however, continued on, striking “a few more cars” at Steve Reynolds Boulevard and Old Norcross, Ritter said. From there, he made it to the parking lot of a nearby Kroger, where he hijacked a gray Dodge Charger.
“Our officers were able to get to that area right after he carjacked a vehicle,” Ritter said. “Right as he was leaving the parking lot, he crashed into a couple more cars and our officers pursued.”
The chase made it less than a mile down Steve Reynolds Boulevard before the suspect stopped and exited his vehicle. Police confronted him, and shots were exchanged.
The alleged robber was hit and transported to Gwinnett Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead.
No officers were injured during the incident, Ritter said. The victim of the carjacking received treatment for minor injuries but was “expected to be OK,” he said.
Meanwhile, Gwinnett police’s mobile operations center, crime scene unit and dozens of officers were spread across five different scenes well into the afternoon. Police are asking anyone that “eye witnessed or recorded any part of this crime” to contact the homicide unit at 770-513-5300.
“There are all kind of victims and all kinds of mayhem,” spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith said.
The Bank of America’s main entrance remained taped off and closed Tuesday afternoon, as a large chunk of Steve Reynolds Boulevard near Satellite Boulevard — the staging area for the shootout — was closed and swarming with investigators.
In the Kroger parking lot, would-be shoppers stopped to ask what happened as police began to take down caution tape. The two cars the suspect hit rested at impossible angles, one completely perpendicular with its previous parking space, another up on a grassy median with a tire tilted perfectly parallel to the ground.
The mother of one of the cars’ owners, who asked not to be named, summed up the afternoon’s events.
“It’s just craziness,” she said. “That’s all I can say.”