Robbery suspects identified
MONTGOMERY CITY - Authorities released the names and pictures Thursday afternoon of the three suspects involved in a bank robbery and multi-county chase Wednesday. Sheriff's deputies said one suspect died and two others were arrested and could face federal charges.
23-year-old Cecil Golden and 22-year-old David Franklin were arrested and charged with first degree assault of a law enforcement officer, armed criminal action, first degree tampering with a motor vehicle and resisting arrest.
Authorities said a third suspect, 23-year-old Wade Sargent, died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound inside a house in Montgomery City.
The robbery happened Wednesday afternoon at the Martinsburg Bank and Trust in Audrain County.
The suspects had all escaped from a Missouri Department of Corrections Halfway House in Fulton and stole a car from a residency east of the city.
The suspects fled to Montgomery County after the robbery, where at least one got into a shootout with authorities near Montgomery City Elementary School. Authorities chased the suspects from the ground and the air before the suspects crashed into a house in Montgomery City and ran. Officers caught Golden and Franklin, but Sargent ran into an empty house nearby.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol SWAT team later found Sargent dead.
One neighbor KOMU 8 News spoke with said she went outside when she heard the sound of the low-flying helicopter. Once outside, Jan Bufka said, she saw lights, heard sirens and realized police were pursuing a car.
"About that time, it jumped the curb and headed into the neighbor's house," she said. "At that time the doors flew open, and I realized that was who they were looking for."
Bufka said she then went inside her home for safety, but was able to watch as suspects and law enforcement ran through her backyard.
"The police cars came through our yard and through our drive," sha said. "They caught one directly behind our house and then a few minutes later they apprehended the other one in the very back part of our yard."
Bufka said the neighborhood is typically quiet.
"I have never really witnessed anything like that," she said. "My heart was really, really racing quite a while later."
The suspects were in the halfway house for past robberies, unlawful use of a weapon and assaulting an officer.
Authorities said the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri was reviewing the case and could recommend federal charges.
Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include the latest information from the Audrain County Sheriff's Department.