HENRICO, VA (WWBT) – One man is critically wounded and two others are in custody following a violent bank robbery Thursday in Eastern Henrico.
It began at the C&F Bank branch on E. Williamsburg Rd. and spilled onto the streets of Sandston, ending nearby on Honeysuckle Ct, where the two men were arrested just minutes after the robbery.
Beneath the gray skies and drizzle, police begin to piece together what happened.
It was 10:00 a.m. Police say a man with a gun walked into the C&F Bank and demanded money. The tellers were quiet, but then a customer started talking.
"Trying to convince him not to rob the bank," said Henrico Police Lt. Eric Owens.
Police say the robber ignored the customer and took the cash. When the customer followed the robber toward the getaway car, police say the robber fired his gun.
The customer was hurt badly. While he was rushed to surgery in critical condition, another police officer happened to be driving by, and followed the getaway vehicle to a nearby apartment complex. It was there that the two men were arrested and accused of robbing the bank just minutes earlier.
It all happened outside the very same bank where -just six months ago- NBC12 reported on a unique idea to try to prevent robberies.
In September, we showed you how the C&F Bank posted signs on the door: "No hats, hoods, or sunglasses". At the time, the manager said the dress code made tellers feel safe.
"We feel better about that, but we also have deterred some robbers by having that sign up," said Kitty Buckner on September 2, 2010.
After five robberies in seven years, there were none in 2010. But the streak is now over, and police say it's better to memorize a robber...than try to negotiate.
"Any descriptors you can jot down or memorize about the suspect, we would advise you, just take a mental note of that," Owens said.
"Just become the best witness you can possibly be," he added.
The C&F Bank was closed Thursday afternoon, but re-opened Friday morning.
Four nearby Henrico schools were also put on temporary lockdown as a precaution, but police say the robbers never approached school property.
Thursday evening, police identified the suspects as Christopher J. Turner, 46, and Khaleel H. Hamlin, 48. Turner, suspected of being the shooter, faces seven charges including weapons possession and robbery. Hamlin, suspected of being the driver, faces six charges.