Suspected bank robber who fired at Manatee deputies had criminal - WFLA News Channel 8

Suspected bank robber who fired at Manatee deputies had criminal past

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Deputies say 24-year-old Ross Chrisman robbed a bank. Jail booking photo from previous arrest Deputies say 24-year-old Ross Chrisman robbed a bank. Jail booking photo from previous arrest
MANATEE COUNTY, FL (WFLA) - We now know the name of the bank robbery suspect who fired at deputies during his attempted getaway in Manatee County on Monday.

On Monday morning, Ross Chrisman, 24, began a series of events that led to the end of his life. Investigators say at 11:25 a.m., he robbed the Florida Bank off University Parkway then took off in a white truck.

While driving, he was spotted by deputies who followed him. Eventually Chrisman stopped in the middle of 33rd Street East.

"He decided that he was going to go out in a blaze of glory," said Manatee County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Dave Bristow.

Chrisman took out a gun and started firing at deputies, hitting Lt. Bob Mealy in the right arm. The SWAT team was called out, and they found Chrisman inside his bullet-ridden truck.

Deputies also found a dead dog inside. Turns out, Chrisman shot and killed the dog, then took his own life.

"All he had to do was surrender. And we would've had a press release about a bank robbery and a apprehension of the suspect and that would've been it. Would've been just a bit part of the news," said Bristow.

But that wasn't the case, and deputies have seen him before. Chrisman has an extensive criminal record going back for years in both Sarasota and Manatee Counties. He's faced numerous arrests for burglary, theft, and drug possession.

Now he's dead. But thankfully, the same cannot be said for Lt. Bob Mealy.

“He’s doing fine, he’s doing really well. He’s very calm and just very matter of fact about it," said Bristow.

Mealy patrols the streets and is a well-respected member of the department. The injuries to his arm were not severe, and he plans to return to work soon.

“Seems to be a through and through where it didn’t hit the bone, didn’t hit anything vital and he should be fine,” said Bristow.

Over the past few years, the bank robber had numerous addresses and was briefly listed as homeless.

WFLA News Channel 8 attempted to contact Chrisman’s family and friends, but no one was available for comment.

Lt. Mealy is still recovering from his gunshot wound and was not ready to speak to reporters.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.


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