A robbery suspect was shot dead by an FBI agent in the parking lot of a bank in the small town of Richmond in McHenry County this morning, officials said.
Two other suspects were taken into custody, officials said.
The shooting happened about 11:30 a.m. at the Associated Bank at 10910 N. Main St. in Richmond, just west of the Chain O' Lakes near the border with Wisconsin.
FBI agents had been tailing the men, whom they suspected had committed previous bank robberies and were planning another, according to a source close to the investigation. The FBI followed the suspects on Interstate 90 to the bank in Richmond, the source said.
None of the men entered the bank when the shooting broke out in the parking lot, according to FBI spokeswoman Joan Hyde. “There were multiple shots fired and one of the suspects was fatally injured,’’ Hyde said.
The suspect who was killed as inside a vehicle, she said. “The other two were taken into custody and are awaiting charges.’’
Associated Bank released a statement saying "our customers and colleagues at our Richmond branch are safe and secure. We are fully cooperating with local law enforcement to help resolve the situation."
A woman who works in the business next door said workers were terrified by the shooting.
Geri Rubel, an accountant at a firm in an adjoining part of the bank building, said that about 11:30 a.m., she heard two bursts of rapid, automatic gunfire outside, one short and one long. She and her co-workers looked out the front window of her office and saw men with guns running through the parking lot toward the bank.
“That scared the (expletive) out of us,” she said. “We locked the door, went to a corner of the room and cried because we didn’t know what was going on. I thought of my kids, and called the high school (to alert them).”
They peeked out the window occasionally to see what was happening, until a McHenry County Sheriff’s deputy came to the office to tell them that investigators had been staking out a robbery of the bank and one suspect was killed and the other was arrested.
Rubel said the body of the dead man was lying in the parking lot, and the other man was taken away in handcuffs in a black SUV. The men she saw with the guns turned out to be law enforcement agents.
“This kind of thing doesn’t happen ever here,” Rubel said. “I hear about it in the city (of Chicago). This is a small town. It’s not something you expect to see here.”
The police response was so quick that it was obvious they anticipated the robbery, she said. “To have all of them within 30 seconds, I’m thinking they must have known something,” Rubel said.
McHenry County Undersheriff Andrew Zinke said his office was called about 11:30 a.m. to assist the FBI and Spring Grove police. "They had been involved in an incident out in front of the bank where a shooting had taken place,’’ he said.
Zinke said he believed the suspect who was killed "was in a car" when he was shot. “By the time I got there, it was all over," he said.
“There is no threat or danger to the Richmond community at this point,’’ Zinke said.
Route 12 was closed north of Route 173 and police were asking people to stay away from the area, Zinke said.Copyright © 2015, RedEye