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Caught on video: Hero bank security guard shoots robber dead to protect others

by Kelly Hartog

A security guard shot and killed a suspected bank robber in Rockford, Illinois, on January 20. 

Graphic video surveillance footage from the bank shows an armed man entering the bank wearing a ski mask and gloves. The man fires at the ceiling before firing at the security guard.

The security guard was Brian Harrison, a retired Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department deputy. He quickly returned fire in self defense, shooting the suspect once in the chest and once in the buttocks  reports the Rockford Register Star.

The video shows the suspect, later identified as 34-yearold Laurence Turner of Rockford, trying to leave the bank, before falling to the ground by the door. He was pronounced dead when Rockford police officers arrived on the scene shortly afterwards.

There were no customers in the store at the time of the shooting, but there was one customer in the drive-through and three employees inside the bank. Nobody was injured in the incident.

Harrison is being hailed as a hero. Joe Bruscator of the Winnebago Co. State’s Attorney’s office told WALB News, “There is no doubt in my mind the actions of Brian Harrison saved the lives of those that were employees in the Alpine Bank location on that date and saved his own life.”

A week after the shooting, Alpine Bank sent an open letter to the Rockford Register Star that said in part, “To the security guard on duty: While facing extraordinary circumstances, you acted with courage and quickness to protect our family. You are a hero to each and every one of us.”

Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea said Turner had robbed several other financial institutions and a retail store in Rockford in the two months prior to the Alpine Bank shooting. An autopsy revealed Turner had opiates as well as THC, the active ingredient in marijuana in his system at the time of his death.

[Feature Photo: Surveillance Screenshot]

Kelly Hartog is a journalist, editor, author, ghostwriter and book coach. She’s lived in England, Australia and Israel but now calls Los Angeles home, where she lives with her adorable Golden Retriever Bronte (named after Charlotte, not Emily).