Two men accused of robbing a La Mesa bank and forcing officers to evacuate an entire neighborhood for nine hours on Saturday are active duty marines.
Two masked gunmen robbed the bank around 2:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon, according to the FBI. During the robbery, the two suspects jumped over the teller counter and robbed several tellers at gunpoint, according to agents. Witnesses told police they saw a Chevrolet Monte Carlo leaving the area at a high rate of speed a few minutes later.
A police sergeant spotted the getaway car and noticed a man matching a suspect description walking away from the car. A foot chase began.
Another officer cornered the same suspect in a nearby backyard. Police say the officer fired several shots, after the suspect reached for something in his waistband.
Detectives said no one was hit by the gunfire, but the man did get away.
Resident Scott Campbell heard the shots go off behind his home.
"We heard the helicopter say, we see you in the backyard. You¹re surrounded. Give yourself up," Campbell recalled. "Heard pop, pop, pop. The guy popped up. [He] just casually had a gun in his hand. He was walking right towards our house, So [my] wife and kid ran in the bathroom. We started locking all the doors," Campbell said.
Police evacuated the Campbell’s home, as well as dozens of homes while they searched for the suspects.
Police found the suspect, who they have identified as Darden, hiding in a garage at 5:45 p.m.
SWAT officers continued combing the neighborhood looking for the second suspect, but called of the search at 11:15 p.m. Saturday night.
Early Sunday morning, agents contacted Lasker and asked him to come in for questioning about the robbery. Shortly after his interview, Lasker was arrested in connection to the bank robbery.
Both men are expected to be arraigned Monday or Tuesday.