Woman, child caught in middle of robbery shootout
A Delaware County mother and her son were caught in the middle of a shootout between police and bank robbers Tuesday.
The woman, who didn't want to be identified, was in a car with her eight-year-old son as gunfire erupted following a robbery at the First Merchants Bank in Yorktown.
She says she was very scared, but she was smart, too, and kept control in a crisis.
"It was surreal," the woman said. "Like nothing I've ever heard."
She says she still feels the effects.
"I shook all night. I couldn't sleep," she said.
The woman was headed home Tuesday, then off to vote. But when she stopped for traffic at a Yorktown intersection, it all broke loose.
"I see a man standing with this big, large, black gun," she said.
Police say Malcolm Crim and his partner, James Cole, just held up the First Merchants Bank at Jackson and Nebo Roads, just outside Muncie.
"Next thing I know, I hear 'Boom boom boom boom boom'," the woman said. "Just so many shots."
That was the sound of police returning the robber's fire. They shot back right through their squad car window.
"I see the gun," says the driver, "and I tell my eight-year-old son you've got to get down on the floor of the car. He's like mom what's going on? I'm like I don't know."
The young mother says, "I was just frozen. I just kept yelling at him. Get down get down. But he's eight years old. He knows what's going on."
Then the gunman, wounded in the gut, dropped the gun and started walking toward the woman's car.
"Scared to death, scared to death," she said. Then the gunman turned away and collapsed.
The FBI says there have been 67 bank robberies statewide, one more than last year. Five have been violent. Last year, there was one violent robbery.
But that's a lot less than the number of violent bank hold-ups in the previous two years - 2010 saw seven, 2009 had 13.
Marion County fared better. There have been no violent holdups at banks in the county so far in 2012 and 2011. But 2010 saw two violent holdups and there were six in 2009.
When the violent ordeal outside the Yorktown bank was finally over, the mother drove her son home and reassured him everyone in his family was fine.