Authorities said 35-year-old Damon Quick tried to commit suicide while in custody. The Durham County Sheriff's Office said detectives were investigating Quick's injuries. He was listed in critical condition.
Quick had been before a magistrate earlier in the day where his bond was set at $9 million on charges ranging from robbery with a dangerous weapon to second-degree kidnapping.
At a news conference Wednesday morning, Durham police said they caught Quick in the act during a robbery at a Dollar Tree store on Guess Road around 9 p.m. on Tuesday.
According to arrest warrants obtained by ABC11 Wednesday, Quick is accused of using a silver colored .45 caliber handgun to rob eight businesses over the past six weeks - including several dollar stores, two restaurants, and a video game store.
Investigators said they had unofficially labeled their suspect the "Green Goblin" for allegedly wearing a mask during the holdups. The Green Goblin is a villain in the Spider Man comic books and movies.
Police charged Quick Wednesday with:
- 19 counts of second-degree kidnapping
- 11 counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon
- 2 counts of attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon
- 7 counts of assault by pointing a gun
- 2 counts of assault with deadly weapon
- 2 counts communicating threats
Police said Quick was charged with kidnapping for allegedly ordering employees around at gunpoint during the robberies.
Quick was hired at the Durham Fire Department in August 2003, earning $40,000 a year.
He was arrested in 2007 on a prostitution charge, but pleaded not guilty and was found not guilty. Durham Fire Department officials said they didn't have enough information to fire Quick at the time and he was allowed to remain on the job.
"Had we known this type of situation would have emerged later, that would have made a difference," said Durham Fire Chief Bruce Pagan.
Pagan said the city is now in the process of terminating Quick.
Detectives are also looking at a series of thefts at Durham fire stations where a total of about $1,200 is missing. The department was forced to change security codes at its buildings because of the thefts.
When asked about that Wednesday, police stopped short of saying Quick is a suspect. They said the investigation continues.