Slain Manatee bank robbery suspect robbed 3 sites in 12 hours

Posted by MARC R. MASFERRER on April 17, 2014 


MANATEE -- The man who killed himself during a shootout with Manatee County Sheriff's Office after a bank robbery Monday had earlier robbed a gas station and a convenience store in Sarasota, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.

"The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office has confirmed that the suspect in two armed robberies earlier this week was the man who died following a bank robbery and shootout with deputies in Manatee County," the Sarasota sheriff's office said in a news release Thursday afternoon.

Sarasota authorities said surveillance video and evidence found after the shootout confirm that Ross Chrisman, 24, was the man who robbed the Shell Gas Station at 2800 Bee Ridge Road at 11 p.m. Sunday; and the Stop 'N Shop at 4201 S. Tamiami Trail at 7:20 a.m. Monday.

"Both of the Sarasota County cases are now closed," the release states.

Later Monday morning, Manatee investigators say Chrisman robbed the Florida Bank branch off University Parkway in southern Manatee.

After the bank robbery, sheriff's Lt. Bob Mealy spotted a truck that matched the description of that being driven by the robber.

When an ensuing chase reached 33rd Street East, just north of State Road 70, Mealy moved in to arrest Chrisman, who opened fire.

Mealy was hit in the arm.

Other deputies exchanged gunfire with Chrisman, until he shot himself to death -- a finding that has been confirmed by an autopsy, the Manatee sheriff's office said Thursday

"There was no evidence of any other gunshot wounds," on Chrisman's body, a news release states.

Also, a necropsy of a dog found in Chrisman's truck after the shootout found that the animal was killed by gunfire from deputies involved in the shootout, according to the release. Deputies originally thought Chrisman had killed the animal.

Mealy continues to recover from his injuries, the sheriff's office said.

An sheriff's office internal investigation of the shooting is expected to be completed next week, the sheriff's office said.

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