Two people, including the suspect, were killed when a police pursuit ended in a head-on crash near Phoenix on Wednesday afternoon. The chase and the fatal crash were shown live on local TV.
Police were chasing an armed bank robbery suspect. They say the man held up a Bank of America branch in Tempe at 1:50 p.m. According to police, the man entered the bank, produced a handgun and pointed it at customers and tellers while demanding money. He fled with an undisclosed amount of money.
Witnesses reported to police that the suspect was driving a gray Nissan Altima sedan. The suspect was located in that vehicle by police in Mesa. Officers tried to stop the suspect and a chase ensued through surrounding cities.
Arizona Department of Public Safety officers joined the chase as the suspect entered and exited highways. They attempted to stop the suspect with a spike strip. He swerved to avoid the spikes.
The chase ended when the suspect's vehicle swerved into the oncoming lane and smashed into a white Toyota Supra, killing both drivers. No passengers were in either vehicle.
DPS Cmdr. Tom Woodward told the Arizona Republic that he would not estimate how fast the Altima or the pursuing officers were traveling during the chase.
Right before the crash, the Altima was being followed by DPS officers and the Chandler Police. Video shot by local news channels shows all officers keeping some distance between their cars and the suspect's car. Police say that they lost visual contact with the suspect's car at times during the pursuit.
The identities of the suspect and his victim were not released at presstime.