first published on December 7, 2017 by Will
CCTV footage shows a bank robbery go extremely wrong for a would-be thief in Rockford, Illinois.
The footage from an attempted robbery that took place in early 2017, shows a security guard and bank staff conversing as they would on any ordinary day. Suddenly, a masked man comes rushing in holding a bag and waving a pistol.
The robber, Laurence Turner, 34, of Rockford, fires a round into the ceiling to let everyone know he means business. However, he didn’t do his homework. He either didn’t know there would be an armed security guard working the bank lobby, or he underestimated the guard’s ability and resolve.
The guard, Brian Harrison, had over 30 years of firearms training and immediately pulled out his weapon and engaged the dangerous suspect. An exchange of bullets takes place and Harrison can be seen peaking around the teller counter shooting at the robber.
Turner, realizing he made a terrible mistake, attempts to put distance between himself and the guard. He does a combat roll toward the door as Harrison continues to engage. During the shootout, the suspect Turner was hit twice. The wounds were fatal and he doesn’t make it past the threshold of the bank as he collapses in the doorway and dies.
Harrison closes the distances to the downed suspect and cuffs the expiring criminal while keeping his weapon trained on him. Within seconds the threat is neutralized and the bank staff is still trying to fathom what exactly is happening.
An investigation into the incident showed that the would-be robber was high on drugs at the time of the robbery. The investigation also showed that Turner was responsible for three other armed robberies in the recent past, including two banks and a jewelry store.
Turner’s multiple armed robberies and his willingness to fire his weapon shows what a dangerous threat he was. It would have only been a matter of time before he seriously injured or murdered someone. Harrison is rightfully being called a hero for his quick and deliberate action.
The video is interesting because it highlights a broad spectrum of human types. There is a dirtbag criminal who has no respect for other’s property or personal safety. There is the guard who has dedicated his life to protecting others and confronting threats. Then, there is the teller. A grown man, that even after the threat is neutralized, continues to cower behind the perceived safety of his desk.
While there is nothing inherently wrong with being terrified in this situation. It is often those types that are the first to criticize the actions of people like Harrison who are tasked with making life-or-death, split-second decisions. Those that feel the responsibility for their own safety lies in the hands of others, need to think long and hard before criticizing the manner in which it is handled.
If you read through the reader comments in the linked sources, you will see that there are many that feel Harrison shouldn’t have continued to engage Turner after he attempted to run toward the door. They feel that Turner was running away and no longer a threat. Those people have obviously never been in a gunfight. There is nothing to indicate that the threat was over. Turner may have just been seeking better cover with which to reload and reengage the bank staff. He may have been going to the trunk of his car to fetch a weapon better suited to deliver a higher volume of fire from greater distance with more accuracy. When Turner went down in the doorway and dropped his weapon is when the situation was neutralized.
Harrison performed well in this situation. No charges were filed against him, and the locals are hailing him as a hero.