UPDATE: An autopsy was performed yesterday and it confirmed that Ross Chrisman died from self-inflicted gunshot. There was no evidence of any other gunshot wounds. Also, after a necropsy of the dog found in the truck, it is now believed that the animal died from the deputies returning gunfire. Initially, it appeared the dog had been shot by Chrisman. Lt. Bob Mealy continues to recover and is doing well.
Bradenton, Florida – A bank robbery suspect was killed in a shootout Monday with deputies from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.
The gunfight took place along 33rd St. East shortly before noon. One deputy, 52-year-old Lt. Bob Mealy was shot in the arm during the shootout. However, Mealy is expected to be okay.
"Now the deputy is very fortunate because he was just a couple feet away and it could have been a lot worse than it is," said Manatee County Sheriff's Office Spokesperson Dave Bristow.
Bristow says the suspect, who has not yet been identified, robbed a Florida Bank located at 3704 84th Circle East around 11:30 a.m. Monday.
A short time later, Bristow says a deputy spotted the suspect's vehicle and a chase ensued. The chase ended in the 5100 block of 33rd St. East when the suspect stopped. During the chase, officials say the suspect twice ran over stop sticks.
"I heard the gunfire," said Lisa Santos who was outside a nearby McDonald's when the shooting erupted. "I heard one which was the one that hit above me and then I started hearing a lot more fire and then that's when I said, 'gunfire, gunfire,' and I dropped to the ground."
"We locked the doors at McDonald's and we had everyone get away from the windows," said Jeff Ladue.
Witnesses say deputies and the suspect exchanged more than a dozen shots. Bullets blew out the rear window of a parked mini-van, a nearby home was hit as well as a deputy's cruiser.
The side of the suspect's pick-up was also riddled with bullet holes after the shootout.
"At this point we don't know if in fact [the suspect] is dead from our gunfire or from his own gunfire," Bristow said.