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UPDATED: Prosecutors charge suspected bank robber who was shot by TPD

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on March 31, 2010 at 10:16 am |
March 31, 2010 1:24 pm

The suspected bank robber who was shot by three Tacoma police officers during a confrontation earlier this month was charged Wednesday in the heist.

Pierce County prosecutors charged Sean S. Sawyer, 43, with one count of first-degree robbery. Sawyer, who’d ben injured in the shooting, was released from the hospital and booked into Pierce COunty Jail on Tuesday night. He was expected to be arraigned on the charge Wednesday afternoon.

The bank robbery and officer-involved shooting were seven minutes apart the morning of March 15.

Prosecutors allege Sawyer robbed the Columbia Bank branch, 1959 S. Union Ave., at 11:05 a.m. He gave the teller a robbery note, told her to hurry up and left with cash. No weapon was scene.

Several witnesses reported seeing a man leaving the bank carrying a large amount of cash, charging documents state. The witnesses provided responding officers with a description of the robber’s green Saturn and its license plate number. Officers found the Saturn abandoned near South 15th Street and Sprague Avenue.

Three officers confronted Sawyer in the 1500 block of South Ridgewood Avenue. Witnesses reported seeing Sawyer walk toward the officers while holding his right hand in his jacket, charging documents state.
Officers yelled at the man to stop or they’d shoot.

“The man did not stop and the officers fired several rounds,” charging documents state.

Sawyer was hit in his right and left calves, right thigh, upper left arm and left side of his chest.

A police dog found a grocery bag that contained the money stolen from the bank and the robbery note, charging documents state. Officers found the Saturn’s keys in Sawyer’s pants pocket.

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