Boise Police Department
News Release

Michael F. Masterson
Chief of Police


Contact: Lynn Hightower
Communications Director
570-6180

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, September 06, 2007

09-06-07 Bank Robbery Ends in Suspect Suicide

09-06-07 Bank Robbery Ends in Suspect Suicide

    UPDATE: Boise, Sept. 7, 2007 - Bank Robbery: Boise Police continue to investigate the armed robbery of the Washington Mutual Bank on Federal Way Thursday afternoon, Sept. 6th. At this time, detectives believe that the suspect from Thursday's robbery is the same man who robbed the bank March 7, 2007. Boise Police Detectives are working with officers from other agencies including the FBI to investigate any possible connection to other unsolved bank robberies in the area. At this time the suspect has not been definitively linked to any further robberies, however that investigation continues.

    Interstate Suicide: The Ada County Sheriff's Office is investigating the suicide of the robbery suspect that occurred on I-84 just after Boise and Meridian Police stopped the suspect vehicle. The incident took place on an interstate that had been crowded with early rush hour motorists. ACSO Detectives request any one who saw the suspect vehicle just prior to the time officers got it stopped, or who witnessed the incident itself, to please call with any information. The suspect vehicle was traveling westbound on I-84 at approx. 4:00 p.m. when it was stopped by police at approx. 4:06 p.m. in Meridian on I-84 1/4 mile west of the Meridian Rd. off-ramp. The suspect vehicle is an '85 white 4-door Dodge Lancer. Officers observed the man driving the suspect vehicle to be holding and waving a handgun prior to the police stop. 

    Anyone who may seen the suspect vehicle prior to the police stop or the incident on the freeway is urged to call Ada County Sheriff's Detectives at 577-3702.

    Multi-Agency Investigation - CITF: Boise Police activated the Ada County Critical Incident Task Force to assist in investigating yesterdays incident. Although the activation does not meet typical CITF criteria, the CITF was activated as the best protocol to initiate a multi-agency response and investigation, considering the freeway incident occurred outside Boise City and involved officers from three separate agencies (BPD, MPD, ACSO).  

Original Release:

    Boise, Sept. 6, 2007 - Boise Police were searching for the suspect in an armed robbery at an East Boise bank this afternoon, when they located the suspect vehicle in the westbound interstate headed out of the city. When officers were able to stop the suspect vehicle, the man inside the car put a gun to his head and fired. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

    Suspect Identification - name will be released from the Ada County Coroner.

    Bank Robbery - What Happened: Boise Police were called to a robbery at the Washington Mutual on the 6400 blk of Federal Way at Gowen at 3:19 this afternoon. Witnesses told officers a man walked in and pulled a gun as he demanded money from a teller. He left the bank with an undisclosed amount of cash. Witnesses were able to provide officers with a good description of the suspect and the suspect vehicle, an older off-white sedan with Ada County plates. Boise Police began an immediate search for the suspect, the description of the suspect and vehicle were broadcast to all nearby law enforcement agencies.

    Suspect Vehicle Located on I-84: at approx. 4:00 p.m., Boise Police located the suspect vehicle westbound on I-84 heading out of the city. Officers quickly formed a plan to have three patrol cars effectively box in the suspect vehicle on the interstate, while three other Boise Police patrol cars and a Meridian Police patrol vehicle stayed behind to safely slow down following traffic and isolate the suspect vehicle. As officers followed the suspect vehicle they report seeing the driver reach for and hold what appeared to be a handgun.

    Suspect Vehicle Stopped: Shortly after 4:00, on the westbound interstate just west of Meridian Rd., a Boise Police Officer successfully used a PIT maneuver to stop the suspect vehicle. The suspect vehicle spun and stopped facing eastbound. As officers were getting out of their patrol cars, they saw the driver of the suspect vehicle put the gun to his head and fire a single shot. Officers did not fire their weapons. At 4:07 p.m. immediately after the shot was fired, officers called for paramedics. The man was airlifted to a nearby hospital and was pronounced dead a short time later.

    Officers later found evidence in the suspect vehicle linked to the robbery at the Washington Mutual Bank.

    Further Investigation: Boise Police Detectives investigating today's armed robbery say the suspect appears to be the same suspect who robbed the same bank March 7, 2007. Details of the March 7th robbery are posted at:

http://www.cityofboise.org/Departments/Police/NewsReleases/2007/page16319.aspx

    Chief's Comment: Boise's Chief of Police, who aided in the search for the suspect says officers did all they could do to try and end the situation safely. 

    "Once again, I am very impressed by the communication and coordination officers used in locating and stopping the suspect's car," said Chief Michael Masterson. "The decision to stop the suspect's vehicle before he could escape or cause harm to other motorists was done at great risk to the officer's own safety."