Gary bank robbed, guard shot

April 10, 2008 3:58:32 PM PDT
A security guard was shot and injured during a bank robbery in Gary, Indiana, Thursday morning. Investigators are searching for two suspects who got away with money. The guard remains hospitalized.

It happened at a Harris Bank branch, 2746 W. 5th Ave., at the same time Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was making an appearance at a Gary high school.

Senator Obama spoke Thursday at Roosevelt High School, about three miles southwest of the Harris Bank. That is one of the factors that police and the FBI are considering in terms of understand the conditions that allowed the bank to be robbed Thursday afternoon.

Witnesses say that two men wearing Halloween masks simply burst in just past 11 a.m. Thursday morning and started shooting.

DeLois Edmonds' daughter is a loans officer at the bank and a witness to robbery. Edmonds' daughter and other bank employees were held for about 5 hours after the robbery for debriefing.

"I'm nervous, I'm shaky. I just want to see her. So I can give her a hug and a kiss," said Edmonds.

The FBI and its related gang squad is taking over this investigation. The incident happened at around the time Senator Barack Obama was speaking at a rally at Roosevelt High School in Gary. The security guard was shot when he pulled out his weapon.

"We had one hold the door open and the other one had an assault rifle, and unfortunately, shot the security guard, an armed security guard, that was inside the bank. We had five tellers inside the bank that were not injured," said Elena Latarola, FBI agent.

The robbers did take an undisclosed amount of money. And then they drove away.

"A wonderful bank. Beautiful peoplE. The security guard that was shot, a friend of mine. I'm just overwhelmed. I'm just thinking because of Obama, you know, at that 11 time, they just thought this would be a time when no one was really here. It's unbelievable," said Brenda Carson, bank customer.

The FBI says the bank kept the employees inside to debrief them and count the cash on hand. Nobody will disclose how much the robbers were able to get away with.

The FBI are not releasing anything more than a very vague description of who got away with the money Thursday afternoon: two men in their 30s, who were wearing blue coveralls in addition to those Halloween masks. They were able to get away in their car northbound on Bridge Avenue in Gary. At about 2:30 Thursday afternoon, police were able to identify and commandeer the getaway car. They don't know who they're looking for right now.

The Harris Bank is closed until Monday.


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