ST. JOHNS, Fla. – A man believed to have held up the BBVA Compass bank in a Fruit Cove shopping center just before noon Monday was shot at least twice by a retired Jacksonville police officer, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.
The man suspected of the robbery, later identified as 25-year-old David Duong, was airlifted to UF Health Jacksonville with what were described as serious injuries. The retired officer who fired the shots, 40-year-old Michael Kellam, suffered abrasions from a physical confrontation with Duong.
Sheriff David Shoar said Duong pushed a note demanding money to a teller and then left the bank at the corner of State Road 13 and Race Track Road with an undisclosed amount of cash.
Police said Kellam was waiting in the drive-through teller line and saw Duong running from the bank after the robbery. He chased Duong to a residential area on Bishop Estates Road behind the bank and confronted him near Teakwood Court. The two briefly fought, and the altercation ended when, according to witnesses, Duong tried to pull a handgun from his waistband and Kellam drew his handgun and fired several times, hitting Duong at least twice, deputies said.
Duong then ran back toward the shopping center, where he apparently had a getaway car parked, when he was confronted by a responding St. Johns County deputy, who held him at gunpoint outside a Mexican restaurant until paramedics arrived, according to deputies. Deputies said they found a large amount of cash on Duong, along with a note demanding money and a handgun.
An employee at the Mexican restaurant said she watched as the incident came to an end.
"The guy turned around a little bit, and I saw blood on his ear," Christina Ferraez said. "I didn't see blood anywhere else. He tried to get up, but I guess it was painful or something, and he went back and he just put the hands like that to the cop and they put the white ties to him."
It was an unexpected outcome for everyone involved.
"I mean, he had this thing planned out. What he didn't plan on was a citizen giving chase like he did," Shoar said.
Shoar urged people to avoid the area for most of the afternoon as his office processed four scenes: the bank itself, the residential area where the altercation took place, the shopping center where the man was stopped by the deputy and the car officials believe the robber was using.
Duong is in serious condition and detectives are obtaining an arrest warrant for him on armed robbery charges.
As for Kellam, he suffered cuts, but will be OK.