A Marin County sheriff's deputy shot a Novato bank robbery suspect after a pursuit that ended in San Rafael Wednesday morning, a police spokeswoman said.
The male suspect robbed a Bank of the West branch at 1313 Grant Ave. in Novato shortly after 9 a.m. Wednesday, then fled in a silver Saturn, San Rafael police spokeswoman Margo Rohrbacher said.
The FBI confirmed Wednesday afternoon it is investigating whether the suspect could be the so-called “cotton ball bandit.”
Novato police issued a countywide alert and a sheriff's deputy spotted the Saturn on southbound U.S. Highway 101, Rohrbacher said.
The deputy tried to pull the car over but the driver refused to yield and exited the highway at Lincoln Avenue in San Rafael, Rohrbacher said. He drove on city streets until he crashed into a pole in the 600 block of Las Gallinas Avenue, near the Wells Fargo bank across from Northgate Mall, then got out of the car and ran, she said.
The suspect confronted the deputy with a handgun and was shot at least once around 9:40 a.m. He was taken to a hospital, Rohrbacher said.
Employees at businesses near Northgate Mall said several blocks of Las Gallinas Avenue were shut down Wednesday morning because of the shooting.
The manager of the High Tech Burrito at 484 Las Gallinas Ave. said late Wednesday morning that police had blocked off the street, but that some customers were still coming into the eatery.
He said police notified them that the suspect with the gun was no longer in the vicinity.
At the Valero gas station at 930 Del Presidio Blvd., a gas station employee said around 11 a.m. that Las Gallinas Avenue was closed around the corner, but that police hadn't given employees at the gas station any instructions.