Pursuit of possible bank robbery vehicle ends in apparent suicide

BRIDGEVILLE – Authorities say a man in a vehicle possibly connected to the April 2 bank robbery in Milford may have taken his own life last Friday evening after being pursued by police throughout Western Sussex County.

Police pursuit that began west of Greenwood ended east of Bridgeville when troopers heard a gunshot and subsequently found a 35-year-old man dead in the passenger’s seat from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, Delaware State Police spokesman Cpl. Gary Fournier said.

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The driver, a 31-year-old woman from Greenwood, was unharmed and was taken into custody without further incident; no charges were filed against the female, Cpl. Fournier said.

The incident began about 6:30 p.m. Friday when an off-duty state trooper saw a vehicle matching the description of the one used in the bank robbery that occurred at the PNC Bank in Milford on Thursday, April 2.

The Impala was located traveling west on Hickman Road (SR16) west of Greenwood before it turned south on Linden School Road and out of site of the trooper.

Around 7:25 p.m. a trooper on patrol observed the Impala on Shell Bridge Road entering the town of Bethel. The trooper and other state police units began closing in on the suspected armed subject.

Once on Sussex Highway the Impala turned north, continuing to elude the pursuing troopers. The car turned east on Middleford Road and continued to travel through stop signs at numerous intersections until it eventually headed west on Seashore Highway (SR404) from Wilson Hill Road.

Bridgeville Police Department had deployed their Tire Deflation Device (Stop Sticks) in the westbound lane near Oak Road and the Impala struck the device and its tires slowly deflated.

As the vehicle began to pull to a controlled stop between Oak Road and Sanflippo Road, a gunshot was heard, Cpl. Fournier said.

The Delaware Division of Forensic Science removed the body to conduct an autopsy to determine the exact cause and manner of death.

“Foul play is not suspected and the incident is being investigated as an apparent suicide at this time,” Cpl. Fournier said.

State Police detectives are working with Milford Police Department in the ongoing investigation of th Milford Police are seeking the suspect in an armed robbery at the PNC Bank on N. DuPont Highway Thursday afternoon.

Thursday, a man armed with a handgun robbed the PNC Bank and was seen getting into a purple or maroon colored older model vehicle.

The Sussex County Post delivers news from Georgetown and southern Delaware. Follow @SussexPost on Twitter.

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