Fullerton police shoot, kill bank robbery suspect who claimed to have bomb

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Wednesday, March 27, 2024
Fullerton PD shoot, kill bank robbery suspect who claimed to have bomb
An officer-involved shooting occurred after a man entered a Fullerton bank and claimed to have had an explosive device.

FULLERTON, Calif. (KABC) -- A man in his 70s was shot and killed by Fullerton police Tuesday after he tried to rob a Wells Fargo bank and threatened to detonate a device that he said was a bomb, according to authorities.

Fullerton police responded to the 100 block of West Bastanchury Road just after 5 p.m. following a report of a robbery.

The suspect was allegedly wearing a mask when he entered the bank and demanded money from the teller. He then threatened to detonate a device that was inside a white box, according to police.

Police said the suspect later exited the building and was holding the white box containing stolen money and the suspicious device. At that point, police opened fire.

The situation unfolded with employees and a customer inside the bank. When officers arrived, they began to evacuate the business. Video from the scene showed the workers rushing out the building and being led by an officer.

"While inside the bank, witnesses stated the suspect produced what appeared to be an explosive device," Fullerton police posted just after 7 p.m. on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The man was seen afterward lying on the ground unresponsive just outside the bank door. Officers were apparently maintaining their distance as bomb squad personnel attempted to analyze an object near the man.

"Due to the threat of a possible explosive device, the Orange County Sheriff's Department Bomb Squad responded to render the suspicious devices as well as the crime scene safe," police said in a news release.

The suspect, lying down near the front doorway of the branch, had what police said called a facsimile device at the time of the shooting, said Kristy Wells, a Fullerton Police Department spokeswoman. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The suspect was only described as a man in his 70s.

No witnesses or officers were injured in the incident.

City News Service contributed to this report.