A security guard shot and killed a man who was attempting to rob a bank late Thursday afternoon on Madison’s Far East Side, Police Chief Mike Koval said.
The suspected robber entered the Chase Bank at 4513 Milwaukee St. at about 4:50 p.m. with his face covered and postured as if he had a weapon, Koval said. He said the man then handed a bag to an employee and demanded money.
The armed security guard saw the man posture as if he had a gun and shot him, Koval said. Police were still interviewing witnesses to determine the actions of the suspected robber, he said.
Paramedics were unable to resuscitate the man, and he died of a single gunshot wound, Koval said.
None of the seven other people in the bank at the time were injured.
Koval said the man killed is believed to be Latino and in his 20s.
Police had not confirmed whether the man was armed or just posturing, Koval said.
“At this point we have not actually established what if anything he may have because we’re dealing with this whole scene from a forensically pure area,” Koval said at a news conference about an hour after the shooting. “Before we move him or do anything like that, we’re going to make sure we get all our forensic needs covered first.”
The Dane County medical examiner will identify the man killed and release his name after relatives are notified, Koval said.
Koval said the security guard was cooperating fully with police and had been taken to the East District police station to provide a statement.
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It is legal for banks to have armed security guards, East District Capt. Tom Snyder said. He said it was too soon to determine whether any charges against the guard might be warranted.
It was too soon to determine if the man killed was connected to any of the other bank robberies in the Madison area over the past few months, Koval said.
Officials from four area police departments and the Federal Bureau of Investigation met earlier this week to discuss a string of possibly connected bank robberies. Sun Prairie, Fitchburg, Middleton and Madison each had at least one armed robbery that could have been connected to the same person, Madison police said.
Koval said police were canvasing the area around Chase Bank after Thursday’s shooting to determine if the man had acted alone or was working with others.
Because the bank is federally insured, the FBI will be involved in the investigation, Koval said. Local law enforcement typically begins an investigation and the FBI supplements those findings, he said.
This is the fourth robbery at the Chase branch, which is in a residential neighborhood, since January 2017, Koval said. Two of the other robberies had been armed, Snyder said, and the suspect in the third postured as if he was armed. The last robbery was in early December.
Ald. Amanda Hall, whose 3rd District includes the bank, and the Rolling Meadows Neighborhood Association board had sent a letter to Chase Bank urging increased security in the wake of the previous robberies, Hall said.
Hall said the city and the community should reflect on the crime and assess what action can be taken and services provided that could prevent people from turning to crime or violence.
“What this looks like to me is we have a young man, who didn’t have the community support and the community opportunity to make a different choice with what he was going to do with his Thursday,” Hall said. “And now he’s dead.”