NEWS LIVE: This report contains news live as it develops and is being updated continuously. Bookmark and refresh the page periodically for updates. Last update: 5:12 p.m.
WASHINGTON CITY – Update 5:12 p.m. Sgt. Dave Crouse with the Washington County Sheriff’s office has confirmed that a suspect has been fatally shot. The incident is still under investigation, but they believe the deceased person was involved in the robbery.
Update 4:43 p.m. The Washington County Critical Incident Task Force has been called to the scene. It has not yet been confirmed whether the suspect is alive, but the Critical Incident Task Forces operates under the the purview of the Washington County Attorney, with the concept that agencies other than the agency involved conduct investigations in certain incidents. The trigger for the Critical Incident Team’s involvement is when an officer is involved in the potential use of deadly force.
Update: 4:28 p.m. The St. George Communications Center confirmed police have caught the robbery suspect. All locked-down students have been released. Additional details will be reported as they become available.
Police have been in pursuit of an armed bank robbery suspect who reportedly robbed Zions Bank on River Road in St. George and fled with hostages. Officers are currently in pursuit of the suspect in the Washington City area. The suspect was reportedly wearing a blond, curly wig and a black hoodie and is armed with a handgun and a sawed-off shotgun.
Update 4:11 p.m. According to information from the Washington County School District, all students living south of the Virgin River will continue to be held at their schools until further notice from the local police department. Updated school lockdown information can be found here.
Update 3:13 p.m. Officers are now assisting in releasing students from the locked-down schools.
Update 2:53 p.m. Advisory from the St. George Police Department Facebook page:
ATTENTION ALL RESIDENTS FROM WASHINGTON FIELDS ROAD TO 2000 S TO WASHINGTON DESERET INDUSTRIAL AREA AND TO 1450 E IN ST. GEORGE THERE IS AN ARMED ROBBERY SUSPECT ON FOOT IN THE AREA. PLEASE STAY IN YOUR HOMES AND SECURE YOUR DOORS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. PLEASE LOOK AT THE ATTACHED PHOTO FOR DESCRIPTION AND CONTACT POLICE IMMEDIATELY IF YOU NOTICE ANYTHING SUSPICIOUS
Update 2 p.m. Schools in Washington City, Washington Fields and the Pine View area have been placed on lockdown until the situation is resolved. The Washington County School District is asking parents to stay away from the schools in these areas and to refrain from picking up their children from school for the time being. School buses will not depart from these schools until the situation is resolved. George Washington Academy has also reportedly been placed on lockdown.
“Right now, stay away from the schools,” Washington County School District Superintendent Larry Bergeson said.
Bergeson said the difficulty is that school will let out soon, but students will be kept inside the schools in these areas as a precaution until pursuit of the robbery suspect is concluded, or until information is received from police that it is OK to allow students to leave the schools.
“We’re just actively waiting her for more information,” Bergeson said.
A helicopter and canine units have been called in to assist with apprehending the suspect. The hostages taken in the robbery are reportedly now safe and in police care.
Stay tuned for updates as additional information is received.
Senior Reporter Mori Kessler contributed to this report.
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