One would think that banks, with their armed guards and high-tech security systems, would be fairly safe places. However, the large amount of money kept in banks tends to draw criminals willing to fight to get what they want.
Here are four instances in which armed citizens used their firearms to protect themselves and others at banks.
A Chicago man was far from home when he was apprehended in connection with a bank robbery. When one unidentified customer realized that a teller had been handed a “demand note” at a Wells Fargo branch in Marietta, Ga., he stepped out, retrieved a handgun from his vehicle, returned and ordered the robbery suspect to lie on the ground until police arrived. Records show the 25-year-old suspect was arrested, charged with robbery by intimidation and remanded to the custody of the Cobb County jail. (AJC.com, Marietta, Ga., 3/26/15)
Gary Spencer, 36, and his wife stopped at a Wells Fargo Bank around 9 a.m. Spencer waited in the car while his wife went inside the bank to deposit a check. While waiting in the parking lot, Spencer witnessed two men struggling with one another for a red money bag and heard a “zapping sound.” The assailant had been waiting in line behind the man with the bag while the man withdrew $5,000 from the bank. Once outside, the victim was then attacked with a stun gun. When Spencer realized what was happening, he reached into his wife’s purse and pulled out her .380 pistol. Spencer approached the suspect and ordered him to stop. When the suspect saw Spencer’s gun, he dropped the stun gun and fled empty-handed. The victim suffered only minor injuries. (Independent Tribune, Concord, N.C., 10/9/13)
After a day’s work at First National Bank, a woman found herself being held at gunpoint in her own home. Her husband was being held by the two intruders as well. The assailants abducted the couple and forced them to drive back to the bank and take an undisclosed amount of money, then ordered them to continue driving. It was then that the husband grabbed a gun kept in the vehicle and fired at the suspects before calling 911. Police arrived to find both suspects lying on the ground near the vehicle suffering from gunshot wounds. They were taken to the hospital where one suspect was pronounced dead. (Times Record News, Houston, Texas, 8/4/13)
Shirley Bennett’s boyfriend taught her to shoot following an attempted break-in at her home three years ago. She purchased a .38-cal. revolver, obtained a permit to carry and no longer felt vulnerable to criminals—criminals such as Joe Covington, a registered sex offender who approached Bennett’s SUV in a bank parking lot. “He was hitting me from behind, trying to force me into my vehicle,” explained Bennett. “I said, ‘I got a gun; don’t make me use it.’ I think my heart was going 90 mph.” Covington allegedly continued wrestling with her, so she drew her gun and fired a shot, causing him to run. Police found Covington several blocks away. “I honestly believe I would not be here today if I didn’t have a gun,” Bennett said. (Akron Beacon Journal, Akron, Ohio, 11/11/11)