South Carolina Bank Teller Opens Fire at Fleeing Robber

Courtesy Richland County Sheriff

Did you know that, according to the FBI, there were just over 3000 bank robberies in the US last year? We would have guessed far fewer. That’s about 58 holdups per week. After all, as Willie Sutton said, that’s where the money is.

The Fibbies even break the stick-ups down by the day of the week and the time they occur. We’re not sure that kind of granular data helps banks deter would-be robbers, but publicizing more stories like this one from Columbia, South Carolina surely would . . .

Deputies say (a) man entered the TD Bank on the 8800 block of Farrow Road around 3:40 p.m. (Monday) and handed a note to a bank teller, requesting money.

The robber never showed a weapon. But . . .

When the suspect tried to flee, the teller reportedly went to his car, retrieved a personal gun and shot at the suspect. The suspect didn’t present a gun or say he had one during the robbery, according to a report.

It isn’t known if the robber was hit or not and there’s currently a manhunt under way for him. If you know the man pictured above, the Richland County Sheriff and the FBI would be anxious to talk to you.

The teller in question was no doubt prohibited from carrying a gun while on the job by his employer. Depending on TD Bank’s attitude, even his actions outside the financial institution may jeopardize his job.

I worked at a bank back in the early ’80s and was there in the lobby when it was robbed. It was all so quick and quiet (again, just a note passed to a teller) that no one knew it happened until the teller screamed as the bad guy was walking out the door.

Banks tell their employees to cooperate with robbers. They’re insured against theft and their number one concern is to get the thief out of the building with no one — employees or customers — injured.

The last thing they want is something like this (NSFW) . . .


Make sure you catch the last lines at the end of the video.

While tellers packing pistols sounds like a good security strategy, don’t look for it to happen any time soon.


  1. avatar enuf says:

    Without exception every bank robbery carries with it the threat of death for everyone in the bank. That is the nature of this crime and it is why it is taken with such seriousness even if the haul in a given robbery is small.

    Shooting at the robbers is always justifiable provided it can be done without increasing the danger to other innocent people. Including during the escape either inside or outside of the bank. The inherent threat of a bank robber is simply that high.

    I would want to know if this bank employee was shooting without regard for where the bullets were going, such as into traffic or other businesses. If that was not an issue, well good for him making the effort.

    Next, how was his marksmanship? Guess we have to wait and see if the robber is found for that answer.

    1. avatar Patrick H says:

      A fleeing robber does not present a danger to the people in the bank. I suspect this employee is in trouble with the law as well as his employer.

      1. avatar enuf says:

        Obviously I am speaking not to the law as it is but how it ought to be. Any robber that threatens death is a danger to the general public and should be stopped even if fleeing by deadly force if necessary and if safe to do so. It is not about those no longer at risk in the last crime, it is about the next crime the criminal has demonstrated a propensity for.

        Home invasion? Rape? Any form of armed robbery. These types of crimes carry the implied or stated threat of death. Shooting at them when fleeing should be no different than shooting an enemy when they retreat but do not surrender.

        A burglar of an unoccupied home should not be shot at if somehow discovered while fleeing. Someone that snatches beer from a 7/11 and runs should not be shot at. When there is no threat to the public in the behavior evidenced by the type of crime just committed, then deadly force is not justified.

        Again, I’m talking the moral and ethical aspect, not the law as it stands. The law as written makes sense in some cases and is broken in others.

        1. avatar Dev says:

          You’re the type of person the anti-gunners love to say represent all gun owners.

        2. avatar enuf says:


          Those people want to shoot illegal aliens the instant they step over the border. A non-violent crime that is often a misdemeanor, not even a felony.

          Those people want to shoot burglars fleeing an unoccupied home. Such as the neighbor in Texas who witnessed a burglary, called 911, 911 told him not to interfere. Instead the neighbor told 911 he was going to go shoot the burglar and then went outside and did so. Then he came back to the phone to tell 911 he’d shot and killed the burglar. He got away with it too. Which to me is an insane abuse of Castle Doctrine.

          Those people want to be excused for using deadly force against non-violent and non-dangerous criminals. This is wrong and should be a crime. It is a crime usually, such as cases in the news of a bystander chasing after and shooting at a fleeing shoplifter.

          If the crime carries the threat of violence and death, such as rape, murder, home invasion, bank robbery, kidnapping, arson, possibly others, then these are criminals that are highly likely to kill somebody. This is the basis of police rules and training allowing shooting at fleeing suspects only under very limited conditions.

        3. avatar Biatec says:

          Enuf is right. If someone is willing to Rob, rape, burgle it should be assumed they would murder. Especially if they use a deadly weapon, say or imply they have one. A crime does not necessarily stop just because the criminal left the room. it would not be the first time A bank robber killed someone on his way into hiding. They used the words “fleeing” He was leaving it sounded like not fleeing. They say fleeing when ever someone leaves for some reason. He may have had a gun and shot someone he bumped into. he could be on drugs, mentally unstable and all kinds of things.

        4. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

          There’s paper law and there’s the real world. Once someone is fleeing, most likely you’re in the clear. No guarantees, of course, but those are the odds. It’s better to let the police handle it at that point, than to volunteer yourself for a shit storm of media attention and legal hassles for the Man’s money.

          Consider that you’re responsible for every round you fire. If you’re taking pot shots at a robber fleeing from a bank, there’s a substantial risk of hitting someone else in the parking lot, passing by, or across the street. In some states (Texas), you get civil immunity for collateral damage to property. The greater risk is hitting that third party, for which you’ll have no legal protection. You’ll go down for involuntary manslaughter if they die, a lesser charge if they don’t, and sued into oblivion in either case. Choose wisely should that day come.

        5. avatar jwm says:

          enuf, the man that shot his neighbors burglars didn’t ‘get away’ with anything. He was in Texas and under Texas law he was justified. Whether you agree or not he was legal.

      2. avatar AD says:

        False. A friend of mine was pistol whipped by a grocery robber who shot and killed a “cooperative” bank teller just 200 yards away only days later. Him and his “Bonnie” were both caught about a week later but I’m sure that mattered little to the murdered grandmother.

  2. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    Why don’t my handguns snap and click every time I pick them up or point them like they do in the movies. It sounds so cool! Are mine broken?

    1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      “Why don’t my handguns snap and click every time I pick them up or point them like they do in the movies. It sounds so cool! Are mine broken?”

      Send all of them to me so I can test them. Dan Z. has my addy.

      I’d say it will take about 10 to 15 years for me to get around to testing them… 😉

      1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

        Geoff, thanks for the help, but I only have 30 +/- handguns. Could we trim it down to five years?

      2. avatar Rusty Chains says:

        Yep, I just love those double barrel shotguns that make that slide racking sound. Maybe Ron Popiel has an electronic sound making add on for my old double. He could call it the Ronco Sound Blaster!

        1. avatar Mark N. says:

          I hope he has more than a sound blaster, His (obviously ex) wife and her boyfriend tried to kill him.

      3. avatar UpInArms says:

        I can’t be sure, but in that video clip, right around 6 seconds into it when the bad guys are in the car– the guy racks the slide and it locks open. This is not how to chamber a round. This is what happens when the magazine is empty.

        Somebody screwed up?

    2. avatar MLee says:

      I like the ones where on revolvers where the cylinder is is hinged and comes out of the frame for loading and unloading, you see them on TV and movies release the cylinder and let it hang open, spin it but the sound effect is the rapid click click click click that revolvers make when the hammer is pulled back to whatever position that allows the cylinder to be spun. Actually, when the cylinder is swung open and spun, there would be no noise obviously. I guess that’s just not “cool” enough for TV and movies.

      1. avatar Robert Powell says:

        Yes you see folks the nasty old revolver is not trolling for stupid like the idiots in hollywierd are. you see the fool open the swing out and spin the cylinder, that is all show and no know. when you observe someone doing that , WATCH THEM CLOSELY , they are showing off. they saw some cockroach in hollywierd do it so it must be o.k. to do… just my opinion..

        1. avatar jwm says:

          That’s one of the weird gun handling bits from hollywood. I’ve never had to check the status of any weapon that I’ve been carrying. I loaded it. I carried it. I know its status and don’t need to check.

        2. avatar MLee says:

          Slapping it closed or flicking the revolver to the side to let the momentum close it being another.
          There’s a ton of sh!t we see on TV and movies you just don’t do or is just plain bad on the firearm. The unfortunate thing is that TV and movies are where many of us are first exposed to firearms and until we obtain formal training or instruction or otherwise exposed to proper weapon handling and care, the inexperienced person just don’t know!

          Certainly there are those that were fortunate to have an experienced professional in the home or other family member that was experienced and trained in shooting and weapon handling, but for me and many others, we didn’t have a real firearm in the home. Guns were for killing and most certainly mother would never condone or allow killing Yogi or Bambi! As such, my indoctrination to shooting was Matt Dillon, Paladin and Jim West.
          You can be sure I have a Smoke Wagon revolver now!

    3. avatar WI Patriot says:

      Do they whiz, pop and whir…???

  3. avatar FedUp says:

    Not idea but sort of excusable:
    1. calls robber’s bluff, shoots at robber after robber appears to disengage but while robber is still in bank lobby.
    2. chases robber out of bank, grabs gun from car, is attacked by robber when he catches robber, shoots robber in self defense.

    Not excusable:
    3. Follows robber out of the bank, grabs gun from car, tries to kill fleeing robber.

    The reporters make it sound like more of #3 and less of #2, but what really happened here?

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      Fedup needs a new keyboard, one that reacts to every key press.
      Should have been “Not ideal”

      1. avatar Dave G. says:

        For most jurisdictions (maybe all jurisdictions) you got it right the first time. (Not excusable.) I’ve always heard that if you chase the robber out onto the street and shoot him, you’ve stuck your neck out a country mile, and you’re going to do time.

  4. avatar NORDNEG says:

    13% of the people I know look like that,,, what’s that phone # again???

  5. avatar former water walker says:

    I’m thinking the teller is out a job shooting at a thief hauling insured $…did they even have an armed guard?!? Wish he’d plugged him😏

  6. avatar Imayeti says:

    I’ve been told that robbing banks is dumb because more than 90% are solved by the feds.

    1. avatar Chris Mallory says:

      Bank robbers on average net less than $5000. Plus it is a Federal beef. The FeeBI is pretty good at catching bank robbers.

    2. avatar Jeremy says:

      I thought most single robberies are unsolved. Its when they press their luck and go for a second or third robbery is when they get caught

  7. avatar TommyJay says:

    For the funniest bank robbery in cinema, check this one out. (Raising Arizona)

  8. avatar Timothy Toroian says:

    A bullet wound is a good identifying mark.

  9. avatar Shire-man says:

    Sure he just didn’t want to shoot him for wearing a fedora?

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      I thought it was Baron Samedi from Live and Let Die.

  10. avatar Hoyden says:

    How about if the Teller jumped in his car, gunned it, and ran over the thief?

    1. avatar WI Patriot says:

      I’ll buy that, he was “fleeing for his safety”…

  11. avatar Docduracoat says:

    While it may be morally right to shoot at someone robbing a bank, it is a bad idea.
    As was said in the article the bank is insured.
    There is a risk of death for you or bystanders if you engage a criminal in a gunfight.
    If you let him go, the FBI will almost certainly catch him.
    If you get killed, or even worse, kill a bystander while defending the banks money, that is a very bad situation.

  12. avatar GlockMeAmadeus says:

    About time they starting shooting back. Google “Brandon Council crescom murders” where the thug shot two white lady bank tellers AFTER getting the money, because he was tired of being oppressed or whatever. MSM has been hiding that story since it happened.

    Tell me again how you should let bank robbers do whatever they want because “somebody might get hurt if you resist.”

    1. avatar VerendusAudeo says:

      See, you’re the kind of nutter who really shouldn’t be allowed to possess firearms, because there’s about a 50/50 chance you’re going to end up on the news in a bad way.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        Admit it VA. If it was up to you no one would be able to have a gun.

        Thank god #orangemanbad is in the oval office and appointing federal justices at a good clip.

      2. avatar Someone says:

        Who the hell are you to decide what a free man is or isn’t allowed to own?

    2. avatar GS650G says:

      A criminal with a gun has potential and reason to eliminate witnesses. Doing nothing when you have an opportunity to stop him means you could end up on a slab.

  13. avatar Robert Powell says:

    the one thing that many times remains un-said,,THE F.B.I. do not like competition . Neither do the local cops..unless the perp has a cop down NEVER INTER THE FUR-BALL.

  14. avatar HueMan1911 says:

    This is my Bank and I’m pretty sure I know which teller it was (name withheld). The bank itself, TD Bank, does not have any restrictions on customers with regards to CC and as this is the second time this bank has had a robbery I always CC when going inside.

    Had I been inside that day I feel very positive of my actions as long as Coopers 4 could be a YES answer and no collateral damage to the innocent.

    As for other comments about not taking action all I can say is it is folks like you that are THE PROBLEM…instead of part of a SOLUTION. As for me all I can say is:
    Nemo Me Impune Lacessit

    1. avatar Anarchist, Vigilante, or both? says:

      Taking the law in your own hands. Yup, that’s what the gun control supporters claim the 2A supporters got a hard-on for. And here you are, a gift to the left.

  15. avatar WI Patriot says:

    “When the suspect tried to flee, the teller reportedly went to his car, retrieved a personal gun and shot at the suspect. The suspect didn’t present a gun or say he had one during the robbery, according to a report.”

    Oops, that’s a BIG no no…

  16. avatar Mister Fleas says:

    “Those people want to shoot burglars fleeing an unoccupied home. Such as the neighbor in Texas who witnessed a burglary, called 911, 911 told him not to interfere. Instead the neighbor told 911 he was going to go shoot the burglar and then went outside and did so. Then he came back to the phone to tell 911 he’d shot and killed the burglar. He got away with it too. Which to me is an insane abuse of Castle Doctrine.”

    That’s not exactly what happened. The two burglars were moving toward him and ignoring orders to freeze.

  17. avatar enuf says:

    What is needed is a new product. It will be a stereo amplifier to fit inside a plastic buttstock for a shotgun, or can mount on a Picatinny rail. All it will do is make the sound of a 12gauge pump being racked. That’s it, just that sound. That way you can make the movie and TV show shotgun noise every minute or so and not be ejecting unfired shells each time.

    Better still, you could mount it to any gun. Or, have a backpack model with speakers that mount on a frame to send that noise in all directions.

    Yup, with enough Hollywood and TV Special Effects, pretty soon the bad guys will be knocked down just by your Sonic Blaster.

    Um, you know, I think I’ve seen that already on a TV show.

    See? They predict the future!!!!

    1. Talk to Joe Biden. I’m sure he would help you with that idea, considering what he stated in the past about burglars, etc…..” take a double-barrel shotgun, and shoot off both barrels into the air. That will scare off any criminals .”

  18. avatar B.D. says:

    What a fucken idiot. You were safe, then you were not, for no reason. Good way to find out the criminal does have a gun and end up in a firefight that gets a bystander wounded or killed. I hope this idiot bank teller goes to the trial right after the bank robber. Dumbass.

  19. avatar Dale in Kansas says:

    Looks to me like the robber is holding up a pair of Depends in the first frame.

  20. avatar Patrick says:

    Yes, this movie (not unlike most others) is a piece of anti-gun propaganda.
    This scene is another example.

  21. avatar Hannibal says:

    Even if you assume that a bank robbery is inherently violent, the robbery was complete; the suspect was by no objective measure still presenting an imminent threat. So this teller goes out and starts a gunfight?

    He’s lucky if his job is the only thing that he has to worry about. Depending on his state’s laws surrounding ‘stand your ground’ and citizen arrest issues he may be headed to a state version of where the bank robber will be held.

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