* updated to reflect new information
BRADENTON – A bank robbery suspect took his own life on Monday after he shot and wounded an MCSO Deputy who was attempting to arrest him according to police reports. The deputies had responded to a robbery at Florida Bank near the intersection of University Parkway and Tuttle Avenue at around 11:25 that morning. Detectives have identified the bank robbery suspect as Ross Chrisman, 24, of Sarasota.
|Lt. Mealy receiving the Deputy of the Month award|
According to witnesses, the suspect entered the bank and demanded money, while armed with a handgun. The suspect then fled the bank in a white pick-up truck and was spotted several minutes later by Lt. Bob Mealy, an 18-year veteran of the force, while heading north on 15th St. E. The suspect vehicle continued north before turning around and heading south on U.S. 301.
Stop sticks were used twice in an attempt to stop the vehicle. As deputies approached the vehicle, the suspect fired a shot and struck Lt. Mealy. Deputies returned fire and multiple rounds were exchanged between the suspect and deputies.
A short time later, the suspect was discovered dead in the truck. A preliminary autopsy has now shown that Chrisman killed himself while in his truck, according to the Sheriff's Office.
When Chrisman's truck was searched, authorities found a dead dog, which they believe Chrisman killed before taking his own life. Money was also found in the truck, but it has not been confirmed if it was from the bank robbery.
Lt. Mealy, 52, was shot in the right arm and is expected to fully recover. He was released from the hospital Monday afternoon.
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