Bank robber claims to have bomb, exchanges fire with police

Bank robber claims to have bomb, exchanges fire with police »Play Video
Derrick Lamp sent in the first photo from the scene.

EUGENE, Ore. -- A man who robbed a bank with what he claimed was a bomb fired a gun at a police officer who returned fire, injuring the man.

No word as of 10:15 p.m. Friday on the man's identity. He is in a local hospital in stable condition. No one else was hurt.

The incident at the Key Bank on W. 11th Avenue prompted closure of a large section of the busy street Friday night.

The suspect, believed to be a 58-year-old white male with ties to California, robbed the bank by claiming to have an explosive device, police said.

An officer in the area around 5 p.m. encountered the suspect behind the Burger King restaurant at 2777 West 11th Ave.

Eyewitnesses told police the suspect pointed a gun at the officer and fired. The officer returned fire and hit the suspect, who was taken to an area hospital.

The circumstances of the shooting will be investigated by a police task force on deadly force as required by Oregon law. The officer will be on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of that investigation.

The bomb squad responded with a robot and recovered a number of packages from both inside and outside the bank. Those packages were still being analyzed Friday night, according to police.

Two witnesses reported hearing three "pops" that they believed could have been gun shots.

"My co-worker heard three pops in the drive-thru window," said Derrick Lamp, assistant manager at a nearby Burger King said.

"I was going into my office at corner of west 11th and Wilson close to 5," Barbara Emge told KVAL News. "I thought I heard three rapid gun shots. I looked over and there was a man at a dumpster with some lumber in a trailer.  I thought it was him.  I came out about 10 minutes later and saw the traffic and someone told me it was a bank robbery. The bank is a couple of blocks away so I still am not sure.  But if anyone else heard them, then it probably was gunshots."

An employee at a nearby Taco Bell said there are 10 or more police cars and an ambulance at the scene of a bank robbery at Key Bank, 2829 West 11th Avenue. Police did not know how long traffic would be delayed and asked drivers to find alternative routes.