Police said the man fired two shots inside the bank, demanded money and escaped with an undisclosed amount of cash.No one was injured.
Bank customers and employees scrambled to find safety.
"I heard a gunshot and then a scream, a loud scream. I said 'What's happening?' They said, 'There's a guy in here with a gun,'" customer Deborah Calloway said. "We hid under a table, me and another lady. I started praying, I said, 'God help us, protect us.'"
Witnesses said the man left the scene on a small bicycle.
Police believe the man started casing the bank at least an hour before the robbery took place.
"It's important to note, probably, that he was spotted near the church [next door] about 9 a.m. So he had been in the area for approximately an hour," said Jim Sughrue of the Raleigh Police Department.
Police are looking for a black man in his late 20s or early 30s, 5 feet 9 inches tall, wearing a black baseball cap and black shirt with white stripes, black pants and white tennis shoes.
Police stopped and questionned men who were riding bikes in the area right after the robbery, but did not find the suspect. They hope a picture taken from the bank's surveillance camera will yield more leads.
Anyone with information is asked to call Raleigh police at (919) 890-3555.
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