Update: Memphis Police say the man who robbed a Wells Fargo Bank Tuesday then took his own life was 51-year-old Marvin Amerson.
(Memphis) A bank robber crashed his getaway car, then took his own life.
It happened at the intersection of Walnut Grove and Perkins around 10 a.m. Tuesday.
The robber held up the Wells Fargo on Poplar.
When police caught up with him, he refused to surrender.
News Channel 3 talked to a few witnesses who captured different parts of the chaos on their cellphones.
Police say they tried to talk the bank robber into surrendering two different times during Tuesday’s chase, and two drivers caught both of these moments on video.
“They turned their loud speaker on louder and demanded he get out of the car and I heard shots,” said Fontaine Pearson, who was driving through the intersection when it all took place.
In cellphone video captured by Fontaine, you can barely hear the gun shots. You can also hear the police telling the bank robber to drop his gun.
“Put your gun down and get out of the vehicle!” said an officer.
Police say the criminal, instead, turned the weapon on himself.
“Hey! Come on! Back up! Let’s go,” you can hear an officer yell.
“I was trying to crouch down in my car because shots were fired,” said Fontaine.
A bank robber, who crashed his van speeding through a red light at Perkins, decided death was a better option than prison.
Officers already asked him once before to surrender. That was also captured by a driver’s cell phone.
After police say the man robbed Wells Fargo, police got him to pull over on I-40.
In the video, you can see a police officer crouching behind his car door as other officers tried to talk the man into surrendering, but the robber decides to keep the chase up.
Police jumped back into their cars to keep up with him and followed him off the Walnut Grove exit, where Fontaine saw the chase come to an end.
“The two cars collided in the intersection and the white one was sent into the telephone pole,” said Fontaine.
Police say it was in that white van the bank robber killed himself – a reality Fontaine says hasn’t sunk in yet.
“I am sure later tonight I will think, “Oh my God!” Fontaine said.
All this happened just outside of Saint Mary’s Episcopal School where dozens of children were spending their day. The school was on lock-down until the crime scene was cleared.