Masked gunman robs East Manatee bank

MANATEE -- A masked gunman this morning robbed an East Manatee bank, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

Shortly before 10:30 a.m., the suspect walked into the BB&T bank branch at 6250 State Road 70 E., brandished a handgun and ordered employees and customers to the ground. Some of the people hid under desks, as the gunman took and fled with an unspecified amount of cash, according to a news release.

No one was injured.

For about 30 minutes after the robbery, law enforcement set up a perimeter in the area, which includes Braden River High School, as the searched unsuccessfully for the suspect. The school was on lockdown for a short time as a precaution.

A half hour after the robbery, the bank's parking lot was surrounded by crime scene tape, as deputies searched for possible evidence. They did find a pair of pink-colored gloves that the robber may have used, according to officials.

The suspect was described as wearing a ski mask, white hoodie, khaki pants, and white shoes.

Anyone with information about the robbery can call sheriff's Detective Jerome Diamond at (941) 747-3011, ext. 2162, or Crime Stoppers at (866) 634-TIPS.

Check back here for more details as they become available.