PHILADELPHIA — A robber shot and killed two armored car guards servicing an ATM outside a bank early Thursday, authorities said. Several schools were locked down amid a massive manhunt for the gunman.
One man fatally shot the Loomis guards shortly after 8 a.m. outside a Wachovia bank in northeast Philadelphia, police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson said.
The victims, Joseph Allullo, 50, and William Widmaier, 65, were retired from the city's police department, where they had served more than two decades, and were lifelong friends, Johnson said.
A surveillance tape showed the robber getting out of his car and putting on gloves before he shot one guard who was removing cash from the automated teller machine, Johnson said. The gunman then went around the armored car and shot the second guard as the victim tried to unholster his gun, police said.
"There was no physical contact at all. There was just firing, it was an assassination," Johnson said.
Police initially said they were looking for four suspects, but Johnson said it appeared there was only one robber. Police had no explanation for the discrepancy.
Mark Clark, a Loomis spokesman, said a third guard, the driver, was grazed by shattered glass as the robber tried to shoot through the armored car. He was treated for lacerations and released from a hospital.
Authorities did not release the name of the guard who survived but said he was 69.
Police said the suspect fled in a black sedan. No arrests had been made by early afternoon.
A short time after the shootings, police recovered a black duffel bag filled with cash behind the Turf Club, an off-track betting parlor directly behind the bank, said Officer Raul Malveiro, a police spokesman. Police did not have details on how it got there.
Investigators were trying to determine whether the guards, who were armed, exchanged fire with the robber, Malveiro said. All three Loomis guards were armed, Clark said.
Entrances to and from the mall complex where the bank is located were shut down and police were stopping motorists leaving the area.
Several schools in the area were placed under lockdown amid a massive manhunt in the area. The mall also was shut down.
Johnson said police and the FBI were reviewing surveillance video from the bank, which is at a busy intersection of shops and other businesses.
Johnson blamed the loss of life on the availability of handguns in Philadelphia and around the country.
Speaking of an international police chief's conference he recently attended, he said: "Every other country has the same problems we have. The one problem they didn't have is our gun problem. ... A robbery with a knife or a baseball bat, somebody might have been injured. A robbery with a gun, somebody's killed."