Bluefield Police Chief Dennis Dillow said the suspect first attempted to rob First Century Bank on Bland Street where he left “some type of device.”
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“He then fled to First Community Bank (on Raleigh Street) where he robbed it,” Dillow said.
When the suspect exited First Community Bank shots were fired, Dillow said.
“All officers are fine, all civilians are fine but the suspect is dead,” Dillow said.
The man reportedly held a gun to a woman’s head while he was inside First Community Bank, according to an individual who works in the downtown area.
Windows on the bank were shot out.
The gunman was dressed in all black, and rode a bicycle to the bank, the downtown employee told the Daily Telegraph.
Dillow said the suspect was armed with what appeared to be a semi-automatic rifle and a handgun.
Dillow characterized the incident at First Community as “a gunfight with the Bluefield Police Department.”
Dillow said the bomb squad is en route to Bluefield to examine the device left at First Century Bank.