Local News

Manhunt underway in Nash after bank robbery, shooting

Posted October 11, 2011 10:48 a.m. EDT
Updated October 11, 2011 5:04 p.m. EDT

— Nash County authorities were searching for a man who robbed a bank inside a grocery store near Rocky Mount Tuesday morning and shot someone outside a nearby convenience store.

The First South Bank branch in the Smith's Red and White Grocery, at 3635 N. Halifax Road in the Dortches community, was robbed at about 9:15 a.m., authorities said.

The masked robber hit a bank employee twice in the face with the butt of a "long gun" and fled with a large box containing an undisclosed amount of cash, Nash County Sheriff Dick Jenkins said.

"Everybody (who) was up front, they're really scared more than anything," store owner Derrick Smith said. "Everybody is a little shaken up. It's just one of those unfortunate circumstances. You don't ever want anything like this to happen, and hopefully, it will never happen again."

The robber then ran about a block away to Griffin's Food Mart and Exxon station, on N.C. Highway 43 near Interstate 95, where he got into an altercation with Uriel Guillen in the parking lot, Jenkins said.

He shot Guillen, 23, of Rocky Mount in the face before jumping into a red Ford Explorer with tinted windows and fleeing north on N.C. 43. Jenkins said investigators believe an accomplice might have been in the Explorer.

Guillen was able to drive north on I-95 to the next exit, where he sought help at a Shoney's restaurant on N.C. Highway 4 in Gold Rock, Jenkins said. He was alert and talking when paramedics took him to Nash General Hospital, and he was later transferred to Pitt County Memorial Hospital, where he was in stable condition.

"He was able to talk to the investigators and gave us what information he had," Jenkins said.

The bank robber was described as 6 feet 2 inches tall, wearing a camouflage cap, bandanna and jacket, light-colored gloves, navy blue pants and sneakers. His hair was in dreadlocks, but Jenkins said investigators believe it might have been a wig.

"He had on a very good disguise from what I understand. Nobody really knows what he looks like," Smith said.

The teller was treated by paramedics at the supermarket and wasn't taken to the hospital.

"I know she's really shaken up," Smith said. "She's a tough lady. She'll bounce back. We know she will."