Tuesday, February 28, 2012
February 28, 1997 - The North Hollywood Bank Robbery Shootout
Uploaded by EnglishWarrior500 on Jun 16, 2011
The North Hollywood shootout was an armed confrontation between two heavily armed bank robbers and officers of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in the North Hollywood district of Los Angeles on February 28, 1997. Both perpetrators were killed, eleven police officers and seven civilians were injured, and numerous vehicles and other property were damaged or destroyed by the nearly 2,000 rounds of ammunition fired by the perpetrators and the police.
At approximately 9:30 am (UTC-8), Larry Phillips, Jr. and Emil Mătăsăreanu entered and robbed the North Hollywood Bank of America branch. Phillips and Mătăsăreanu were confronted by dozens of LAPD officers when they exited the bank and a shootout between the officers and robbers ensued. The two robbers attempted to flee the scene, Phillips on foot and Mătăsăreanu in their getaway vehicle, while continuing to engage the officers. The shootout continued onto a residential street adjacent to the bank until Phillips was mortally wounded, including by a self-inflicted gunshot wound; Mătăsăreanu was killed by officers three blocks away. In addition to the two perpetrators, eleven officers and seven civilians sustained injuries. Phillips and Mătăsăreanu had robbed several armored vehicles prior to their attempt in North Hollywood and were notorious for their heavy armament, which included automatic rifles.
Local patrol officers at the time were typically armed with 9 mm or .38 Special pistols on their person, with some having a 12-gauge shotgun available in their cars. Phillips and Mătăsăreanu carried fully automatic rifles, with ammunition capable of penetrating police body armor, and wore military grade body armor of their own. Since the police handguns could not penetrate the bank robbers' body armor, the patrol officers' efforts were ineffective. SWAT eventually arrived with weapons that could penetrate and several officers also appropriated AR-15 rifles from a nearby firearms dealer. The incident sparked debate on the appropriate firepower for patrol officers to have available in similar situations in the future. Due to the large number of casualties, rounds fired, weapons used and overall length of the shootout, it is regarded as the longest and bloodiest event in US police history.
LOS ANGELES CNN A blaze of automatic gunfire ripped through a crowded neighborhood after several heavilyarmed gunmen dressed like commandos botched a bank robbery.
Two suspects were killed, and 15 people were injured, including 10 policemen. None of the injuries incurred during the hourlong shootout was life threatening, Los Angeles Police Chief Willie Williams said.
Initially outgunned, police responded to a scene in North Hollywood that resembled a combat zone. Bullets were flying from all directions into cars and buildings and bystanders, too.
More than 200 police were on hand for the siege, which lasted more than an hour. Armored personnel carriers and dozens of police cars, fire engines and ambulances were called to subdue the attackers and attend to the wounded.
Wearing body armor and carrying a trunk full of weapons, the robbers were ready for a fight. And thats exactly what they delivered, firing multiple hundreds of rounds, according to police.
They fired armorpiercing bullets at anything that moved, and one suspect used a getaway car as a shield. Two suspects fought fiercely to the death, killed by helmeted police who fired bullets to the head at close range.
Police Cmdr. Tim McBride said hed seen nothing like it since the Symbionese Liberation Army opened fire on LAPD officers in 1974, three months after members kidnapped newspaper heiress Patty Hearst.
One of the wounded officers was in serious condition, Williams said. Five have been treated and released from a hospital. One officer and one civilian were injured in a related car wreck.
Of the two suspects killed by police, one died of multiple gunshot wounds after he was captured. Police made several arrests in connection with the shooting, but the two dead gunmen are the only suspects known to be involved in the robbery attempt, Williams said.
The L.A. police chief, however, could not confirm that all of the suspects had been captured or accounted for.
After the shooting subsided, squads of helmeted police cordoned off entire blocks searching for suspects. Later Williams said Were know of no other suspects. Were not actively looking for anybody.
He added that police were combing through the crime scene to ensure it is safe for detectives.
At one home, police wrecked a shed with a battering ram attached to an armored personnel carrier hoping to find a suspect, but to no avail.
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