Suspect who shot Manatee County lieutenant identified

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MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. - More information has been released on Monday’s shootout between Manatee County Sheriff's deputies and a suspected bank robber, that ended with a sheriff's lieutenant shot in the arm and the alleged robber dead.

The robbery took place at the Florida Bank on University Parkway just off Tuttle Avenue about 11:25am Monday. Sheriff's deputies say the robber took off in a white pick-up truck. The driver later stopped in the 5100 block of 33rd Street East.

As deputies ordered the driver to surrender, they say he opened fire. “As a result of that one round that was fired, obviously return fire from our deputies was done and eventually we had a few members from the SWAT team arrive with a ballistic shield, and they approached the vehicle after throwing a couple of flash bangs and it was obvious that the suspect was deceased,” says Manatee County Sheriff Brad Steube.

Tuesday, deputies have identified the suspect as 24-year-old Ross Chrisman of Sarasota. The preliminary autopsy shows Chrisman died of a self-inflicted gunshot. Deputies say a deceased dog was also found in the truck, apparently shot by Chrisman before he took his own life.


Lt. Bob Mealy, an 18-year veteran of the sheriff's office, was hit in the right forearm. He was treated and later released from the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.