Police say a suspected armed bank robber, 51-year-old Marvin Amerson, led them on a slow-speed chase causing tense moments in East Memphis Tuesday morning before crashing and fatally shooting himself as police caught up with the suspect.
It didn't take Memphis Police long to find him and ultimately this accused bank robber's undoing may have been because of Memphis traffic because the driver had trouble getting around the other vehicles.
According to police, an unidentified armed man wearing a beige jumpsuit walked to a Wells Fargo bank branch on Poplar Avenue at around 9:45 a.m., and demanded cash. He left shortly after in a red SUV, but as soon as he left the bank the suspect was followed by a police cruiser.
The suspect, who police identified Wednesday as Amerson, stopped briefly near Walnut Grove and I-240 police told FOX13 News but officers could not convince him to get out of the SUV before he took off again. A slow chase ensued with police because the suspect had trouble navigating through Memphis traffic.
Eighteen minutes after the bank robbery the chase ended as the suspect hit a car head-on at Perkins Extended and Walnut Grove Road before slamming his SUV into a telephone pole. Seconds later the SUV was surrounded by a swarm of police cruisers and tactical units.
Concerned the suspect had a high-powered rifle, police ordered bystanders and motorists to crouch down and hide for safety. FOX13 News was ordered to move our news vehicle away and park it behind a house for safety.
A few moments later police said Mr. Amerson took his own life.
The driver of at least one of the other vehicles involved in the crash after the slow-speed chase was taken to the hospital with injuries. Traffic at Walnut Grove and Perkins stayed tied up for four hours as police investigated the scene.
The condition of the other driver hurt in the crash is not known.
A handgun and a black plastic bag containing cash were recovered inside of the suspect's vehicle, police said.