Man shot by officers told teller to call police

In this picture taken just moments before officers opened fire, Mitchell walks from the bank with a hostage at gunpoint. (Chopper 11 HD)
February 11, 2011 2:42:44 PM PST
A 911 call released Friday shows the man shot by officers at a Cary bank Thursday told a teller to call police as he took employees hostage.

"We're getting robbed and the guy told me to call the police," the female caller says.

Click here to listen to the 911 call (.mp3)

The woman says the robber is holding a gun to the head of her service manager and that he jumped behind the teller counter.

The woman says the gun is in a hat and she can't see it.

After the call, officers surrounded the Wachovia on Green Level Church Road. A standoff began around 3 p.m. and ended just after 6 p.m. when 19-year-old Devon Mitchell emerged from the front door of the bank holding what appeared to be a gun to the head of a woman.

Pictures from Chopper 11 HD showed the female hostage sink to the ground and officers opening fire. Mitchell was killed, the hostage was not hurt.

Cary police have said while it appeared Mitchell had a gun, they declined to answer questions about what type Friday - saying the investigation was not complete.

At a news conference right after the shooting Thursday night, Cary Police Chief Pat Bazemore said she stands behind the actions of her officers.

"This is absolutely not how we wanted this to end," she said.

Click here to watch Bazemore's news conference

Bazemore said her officers had been in negotiations with Mitchell, trying to convince him to give himself up.

The 19-year-old was a student at Panther Creek High School. Records seem to indicate he may have dropped out in 2008, but reenrolled recently as a freshman.

People who knew him said he had been struggling lately.

"I noticed he was like kind of out of it, I guess you could say. Like over the last couple of days, I've talked to him, he didn't seem like himself," offered one man.

During the standoff, Mitchell's 15-year-old sister anxiously awaited news from inside a pharmacy across the street.

A witness who was in the store with the teen said she also told others that he hadn't been himself lately.

"She said my brother hasn't been acting right. She said something was different about her brother and she didn't know why," recalled Amanada Evans.

Upon learning snipers had shot her brother, Evans said the sister dropped to her knees sobbing.

The sister lashed out angrily at Cary police on her Twitter page Friday and mourned her loss.

"can you come back home just for one day maybe an hour i just wanna tell u i love u," she wrote in one post.

Bazemore said there were seven hostages in the bank at the beginning of the standoff. Two were released very early on and two more were released later in the afternoon.

Before the shooting, there were three people in the bank with Mitchell. One was hidden in an office in the bank and the robber wasn't aware he was there.

During the standoff, a nearby Kids R Kids daycare near the bank was evacuated and nearby public schools were put on lockdown for two hours - including Alston Ridge Elementary, Mill Park Elementary, Mills Park Middle and Panther Creek High School.

Bazemore said the State Bureau of Investigation was called in to assist with a review of what happened - as is routine in any officer involved shooting.

Wachovia Wells Fargo released a statement soon after the shooting.

"This is a tragic and unfortunate situation, and our thoughts and prayers go out to those who were involved. We are thankful that all of the customers and our team members present during this incident are safe. They were remarkably brave and courageous throughout this ordeal," it said.

The company also said it's offering counseling for the employees involved in the incident and will continue to work with law enforcement officials as they conduct their investigation.

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