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Police ID bank robber killed in officer-involved shooting

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Photo: Video by kgun9.com

Police ID bank robber killed in officer-involved shooting

By Taylor Higgins, Rikki Mitchell, Ina Ronquillo. CREATED Feb 22, 2014 - UPDATED: Feb 24, 2014

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Police are investigating an officer involved shooting that led to the death of Armando Alvarez, 44, a suspected bank robber.

Sgt. Chris Widmer with the Tucson Police Department tells KGUN9 the shooting occurred in the 5600 block of East 9th.

Detectives determined that Alvarez was involved in the bank robbery of the Chase Bank near Broadway and Wilmot.  The man pulled a gun on a bank teller and got away with money from the bank.

A witness on the scene pointed out Alvarez as the bank robbery to a responding officer.  The man left the scene on a bicycle and went into a neighborhood near Broadway and Craycroft, said Widmer.

Police followed Alvarez into the neighborhood, but he got away from officers.

A neighbor then called 9-1-1 to report that a bicycle was in his yard and a man was hiding in their shed, said Widmer.

Sergeant Jeremy Williams, Officer Jason Ives and Officer Jason Hollander responded to the residence to check the home.

As they arrived, found that one of the sheds in the back yard appeared to be tampered with, as the lock had been removed.

The officers attempted to call out to Alvarez by voicing numerous commands and knocking on the shed to make their presence known, said Widmer..

Alvarez opened the door and came out of the shed.  After exiting, he turned to face the officers.

All three officers noted that Alvarez had a black object in his right hand and he was attempting to conceal his right hand behind his right leg.  Officers gave him commands to drop the object and show both of his hands.

Alvarez  failed to comply, said Widmer.  He raised the object up, pointing it in the direction of the officers. All three officers discharged their duty weapons.

All three officers involved in the shooting believed that the actions that Alvarez exhibited were
indicative of him holding a gun and pointing it at them.

Alvarez was seriously injured during the shooting and transported to the hospital where he died from his injuries, said Widmer.

Detectives ultimately determined the black object in Alvarez's hand appears to be a tool, similar to an automotive filter wrench.

During the investigation, detectives recovered Alvarez's backpack in the shed. Inside the backpack, they located a black airsoft pistol that looked like a semi-automatic handgun.  They also located the money taken from the bank, said Widmer.
 
Sergeant Williams is a 14-year veteran of the Tucson Police Department., Officer Ives is a 7-year veteran and Officer Hollander has been with the department for just over a year and a half.