Sunday, August 25, 2002

Police shoot robbery suspect

The Associated Press

        COLUMBUS - Police say they shot a man who robbed a Subway restaurant downtown, held two hostages in his home and shot at officers.

        Alonzo Smith, 41, was in stable condition Friday night at Grant Medical Center after five officers fired at him in a church parking lot, police said.

        He is charged with four counts of aggravated robbery and one of assault on a police officer, police said Saturday.

        Police said Mr. Smith walked into the restaurant with a revolver, robbed the patrons while threatening to shoot a woman, then left.

        Joe Northrup, an assistant manager, said he noticed the gun was not loaded, so he followed the robber outside and punched him in the jaw.

        But Mr. Smith recovered and got in his car, which was parked in an alley behind the store, police said.

        Mr. Northrup said he shattered the back window by throwing a metal lock and called police with a description. Officers soon spotted it in the driveway of Mr. Smith's home about two miles away.

        An officer who knocked heard a shot, police spokesman Sgt. Earl Smith said. Alonzo Smith then told officers he had two women as hostages inside, police said.

        More shots were fired from inside but no one was hit, police said. The women were released about 1:30 p.m.

        Police said the suspect then fired again. Five officers fired back, with one shot hitting the suspect, Sgt. Smith said.


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