Criminal histories of bank robbery suspects varied
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Two men accused of a violent bank robbery Friday in Richland County had a lengthy criminal history, while the two others had a few misdemeanors in their past.
The three men, identified as 26-year-old Ozzie Carreker, 22-year-old Rashad Hall, and 21-year-old Naim Stroman, have been charged with armed robbery, three counts of attempted murder, and fifteen counts of kidnapping.
Bond was denied for all three when they appeared in court Saturday.
A fourth man, 23-year-old Ramel Wright of Eastover died at the scene after law enforcement officers shot and killed him.
A review of their criminal histories show Carreker was charged several times in the past with assault and battery with intent to kill, several gun-related misdemeanors and felonies, and drug and alcohol charges.
Hall's criminal history includes arrests for armed robbery, kidnapping and assault on a police officer while resisting arrest for an incident in 2011.
A criminal record search of Stroman and Wright showed a couple of misdemeanors.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott says the masked and heavily armed group entered the Wells Fargo bank branch on Two Notch Rd. near Parklane Rd. shortly after 10 a.m., fired shots inside the bank, and demanded money.
The employees complied with the suspects, but one of them set off the alarm and Richland County deputies and Columbia Police officers arrived at the scene within moments.
"At one point one of them stood over me straddled over me and the gun was like to his side," said Dana Chisholm, who was in the bank during the robbery. " I didn't want to look at him and next thing I know I heard, I think they shot again. Once they were leaving I think I heard another pop and then the bank manager was like, 'Everybody stay down.'"
"When they first hit the door they started shooting," said Pastor Ray Davis, who was also inside the bank.
"Soon as they got in they had automatic weapons so the one guy he said to others 'If you don't get money I'm going to kill everybody in here," said Davis. "You don't know when you are going to get a chance to tell someone you love them so let me tell my wife my daughter my mother in law my son in law love you all."
As they exited the bank, the group fired even more shots before hopping into their getaway vehicle and speeding down Parklane as deputies pursued them.
While trying to flee the scene the suspects fired several shots at their pursuers. They abandoned the car a short time later and ran off.
Two of the suspects were eventually cornered behind a residence on Parkingson Drive by three Richland County investigators and a Columbia Police officer. One of the suspects surrendered, but Wright refused to give up.
Lott said Wright then threatened to kill the officers. As he began to pull a weapon out of his pocket, the officer and deputies opened fire and killed him.
The remaining two suspects were caught a short time later.
"This was a very intense manhunt," Lott said.
Lott said all members of the group had lengthy and violent criminal backgrounds. One of them even had an ankle bracelet he removed this morning prior to the robbery attempt.
No officers and no citizens were wounded in the robbery. Lott says officers are "very fortunate" that no one was injured.
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