Police ID suspect, slain bystander in Coffeyville bank heist

COFFEYVILLE, Kan. | Authorities have identified a bank robbery suspect and a bystander he allegedly shot and killed during a police chase in the southeast Kansas town of Coffeyville.

Police Cmdr. Mike Brown said in a news release that 39-year-old Ross A. Williams of Claremore, Okla., was found in a field and arrested without incident at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Williams is suspected of holding up a Bank of America branch in Coffeyville shortly before 5 p.m.

A bank customer called police. Coffeyville Police quickly located the vehicle and a chase ensued. The chase ended in the 500 block of N. Grant when the SUV broke through a cable barricade at a dead end and slammed into a tree.

The suspect reportedly opened fire with a rifle on the two police cars that had been chasing him. Police returned fire and the suspect fled into nearby woods.

A bystander, who according to a local radio station was staying with family in the area, was shot from two blocks away. He was taken to Coffeyville Regional Hospital where he later died. He has been identified as Willie Neal of Georgia.

The officers searched the woods where the suspect fled, finding him in a field around 8 p.m. He has been identified as 39-year-old Ross A. Williams of Claremore, Oklahoma. He is being held pending filing of charges.

No officers were injured.

FBI spokeswoman Bridget Patton says an undisclosed amount of cash was taken in the holdup.


KAKE-TV contributed to this report.