ST. CLOUD (AP) -- A Rockville man is recovering from a gunshot wound to the forearm after he chased a suspected bank robber who eventually was caught by police and arrested.
Robert Murphy, 48, got in his car and followed the suspect around Monday morning after he saw the man enter the Liberty Savings Bank in west St. Cloud, demand cash and walk out.
The 53-year-old suspect, still on foot, turned and fired two shots from a semiautomatic handgun, with the second one going through the windshield and hitting Murphy in the arm, said police Capt. Len Smallwood.
The suspect, a Chisago City man, then fled in a car, but he was tracked down a few miles away at the DelWin Ballroom in St. Joseph. When police approached the car, they found that the suspect had shot himself in the throat. He told paramedics on the way to the hospital that he had wanted to kill himself, police said.
The suspect was in critical condition Monday at the St. Cloud Hospital, Smallwood said, and will probably be charged once he recovers.
Murphy, who was treated and released from the hospital with a superficial wound, was reluctant to talk about his role in catching the suspect.
''I was just in the right place at the right time, and I just didn't want to see anyone get away with it,'' said Murphy, who continued to follow the suspect after he was shot.
Police also got some help from Raeanna Lucas, who was working at Little Duke's convenience store across a parking lot from the bank. She called police after hearing tires squealing and gave them the car's license plate number.
Before fleeing in a car, the suspect had dropped the stolen money, which was recovered by police.
Bank president Mark Bragelman said the four employees who were working followed the proper procedure by sounding an alarm. He said they were shaken up but not hurt.
Bragelman was grateful for Murphy's effort, but he said customers shouldn't put themselves at risk during a robbery.
''If you ever had the chance to talk to a customer, we'd say, 'We appreciate your concern, but don't ever put yourself in harm's way,''' he said. ''It's only money. It's not worth it.''
Smallwood also said he does not advise residents to chase or stop suspects. But of Murphy, he added, ''I think he's a hero.''
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