FLORIDA – A former police officer shot the robbery suspect in the face Monday after following him in his car, police said. The officer was at a Compass Bank in Julington Creek when the incident took place.
A suspected St. Johns County bank robber was hospitalized late Monday morning after being shot in the face by a former law enforcement officer at the scene.
The officer, who was in the Bartram Oaks Walk Compass Bank drive-through about 11:45 a.m., spotted the robber leaving the Julington Creek branch and began following in his vehicle, said Cmdr. Chuck Mulligan.
He followed the robber, who was described as a young man, north through the parking lot onto Bishop Estates Road. The officer got out of his car and the two struggled until a bystander said the suspect was reaching for a handgun.
The former officer drew his own handgun and shot the other man in the face, Mulligan said. The wounded man got up and began running south, where investigators later learned he had parked his car away from the bank.
As he was running through the parking lot he was confronted by a St. Johns deputy who drew his gun. The man surrendered and was treated by rescue workers before being flown to UF Health Jacksonville with life-threatening wounds.
The name of the suspect and the former officer were not released. Mulligan said he did not know where the police officer had worked in the past.
Early Monday afternoon investigators were gathering evidence at the bank, the scene of the struggle, the point of the arrest and the suspect’s car, he said.
Mulligan said the suspect’s handgun and the stolen money were recovered.
No one else was injured in the robbery.