Police fatally shoot bank robbery suspect in Orange

ORANGE, New Jersey (WABC) -- Police in New Jersey shot and killed a suspected bank robbery suspect Thursday evening.

At around 5:28 p.m., there was a report of a robbery at the PNC Bank branch in Orange, New Jersey.

The suspect ran one block and somehow got into a residential building.

Then on the other side of the building, in a parking lot, two detectives from the Essex County Sheriff's Office came upon the suspect.

Meanwhile, for bank employees this was a terrifying day, their loved ones are shaken.

"I thought they might have got shot, or somebody got killed," said Deborah McPleasant, sister of bank employee. "That they might have hurt them because I know, people always trying to rob the bank. I was just praying it wasn't my sister."

McPleasant said when she heard the PNC Bank on Main Street was hit she panicked.

She was unable to speak to her sister late Thursday night, but she did get to see her.

"She just came to the door and told me, 'Debbie I'm OK. Debbie it's going to be a little while, the cops are questioning what happened. The cops told me that the person that robbed them, the cops shot him and they killed him,'" McPleasant said.

"This is what we do as police officers. Sometimes we're called to do things that we're not fond of but they're things that we need to do," said Sheriff Armando Fontoura, Essex County.

Investigators say two detectives from the Essex County Sheriff's Office tracked the suspect down a block away, exiting the door of an apartment building into a residential parking lot next to the NJ Transit Orange train station.

It happened just before 5:30 in the middle of the evening commute.

"They came upon the suspect, identified themselves as police officers, ordered the suspect who was armed with an apparent handgun to stop. The suspect refused the commands of the officers," said Thomas Fennelly, Chief Assistant Prosecutor Essex County.

Police say the suspect's weapon and bag full of money were recovered.

They aren't saying how much was allegedly stolen or if the suspect was reaching for his gun when he was shot.

Investigators don't believe the suspect fired any shots.

One officer fired his weapon. It's unclear how many shots he fired.

Those detectives just happened to be in the area.

"The officers were doing a narcotics investigation in the area, complaints from folks, and they happened to be on the scene at the right time and right place," Sheriff Fontoura said.

Both detectives were taken to the hospital, but have been released and are heading home.

The identity of the suspect is being withheld pending family notification.

The police station is just six blocks away from where the shooting happened.

Anyone with additional information may contact the Essex County Prosecutor's Office Professional Standards Bureau at (862) 520-3700.
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