(MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. - WFLA) At approximately 11:25, deputies responded to a bank robbery at Florida Bank located at 3704 84th Ave. Circle E. in southern ManateeCounty. According to witnesses, the suspect entered the bank and demanded money. The suspect was armed with a handgun. The suspect fled the bank in a white pick-up truck.
Several minutes later, Lt. Bob Mealy spotted the suspect vehicle heading north on 15th St. E. The suspect vehicle continued north and then turned around and headed south on U.S. 301. Stop Sticks were used twice in an attempt to stop the vehicle.
The suspect vehicle stopped in the 5100 block of 33rd St. E. As deputies approached the vehicle, the suspect fired a shot and struck Lt. Mealy. Deputies returned fire and multiple rounds were exchanged between the suspect and deputies. A short time later, the suspect was discovered dead in the truck. His identity has not been released at this time. Money was found in the truck but it has not been confirmed if it was from the bank robbery.
Lt. Mealy was shot in the right arm and is expected to fully recover. Lt. Mealy, age 52, has been with MSO since March, 1996.