Two suspects in an armed bank robbery in Santa Monica are in stable condition after police fired at the suspects during an altercation at the Villa Marina Marketplace in the Marina area Wednesday, June 29th, Santa Monica Police Chief James T. Butts said.
Santa Monica police received a call at about 10:28 a.m. regarding an armed robbery at the First Federal Bank, Main Street and Ashland Avenue, Butts said.
Police said two male suspects, possibly “black or Filipino,” were reported leaving the scene in a black SUV.
Police responded to the scene within two minutes. The suspects were reported driving southbound on Lincoln Boulevard, where police located the vehicle, Butts said.
Police followed the vehicle and a pursuit ensued, eventually ending when the suspects drove into a parking structure at the Villa Marina Marketplace, Lincoln Boulevard and Maxella Avenue, Butts said.
The suspects allegedly exited the vehicle with bags of money in the area between the second floor of the parking structure and the second floor of the shopping center, Butts said.
When one of the suspects allegedly reached toward his waistband, officers, fearing for their safety, fired at both suspects, Butts said.
One suspect was immediately taken into custody there and the other suspect was apprehended by the entrance to a movie theater at the shopping mall, Butts said.
The suspects were transported to UCLA Medical Center and are currently in stable condition, the police chief said.
No officers were injured during the incident.
Shortly after the incident Maxella Avenue was closed off from Lincoln Boulevard to Glencoe Avenue.
“It’s very scary,” one female witness said. “This has never happened since I’ve been here.”