UPDATE: Suspected bank robber dies following confrontation with Hermiston Police
From the office of Umatilla County District Attorney Daniel Primus:
At 3:24 p.m. on December 31, 2012, an alarm was initiated at Community Bank in Hermiston. Several officers were dispatched from the Hermiston Police Department to the bank and, en route, learned that the alarm was for a robbery and was not a false alarm. Eye witnesses reported seeing the bank robbery suspect leave the bank, cross Highway 395, walk through the Fiesta Foods parking lot, and enter the Hermiston Liquor Store. Soon after the suspect entered the liquor store, two Hermiston Police Department officers entered the liquor store and attempted to contact the suspect. Eye witnesses reported seeing the suspect draw what appeared to be a black semi-automatic handgun and point it at the officers. The officers responded by discharging their duty weapons.
The suspect was taken by ambulance to Good Shepard Hospital in Hermiston, where he was treated by medical staff. At approximately 7:00 p.m. medical staff determined that the suspect died.
Shortly after the shots were fired the Umatilla/Morrow Major Crimes Team was activated by the Hermiston Police Department to investigate the robbery and subsequent shooting. It was determined that the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office would be the lead agency. The Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office is receiving assistance from the Oregon State Police, Milton-Freewater Police, Pendleton Police Department, Stanfield Police Department, Umatilla Police Department, Boardman Police Department, Morrow County Sheriff’s Office and the Umatilla County District Attorney’s Office.
An autopsy date has not yet been determined, but will be set in the near future by the State Medical Examiner’s Office. The investigation will continue throughout the week.