A man who police said committed a carjacking in Caseyville before robbing a Collinsville bank later took his own life as police closed in on him Friday in a wooded area in Centreville.
According to Illinois State Police Commander Derek Wise, the man committed the carjacking on North Long Street in Caseyville around 2:30 p.m. before robbing the UMB Bank, 401 N. Bluff Road in Collinsville, around 3 p.m. The man’s identity was not immediately released.
Collinsville police said the man, described as a white man wearing a hat, sunglasses, a gray shirt and blue jeans, displayed a silver handgun and demanded money. He made off with an undetermined amount of money.
Wise said after the man robbed the bank, he fled in the stolen vehicle. Police radio transmissions indicated the vehicle was a black Toyota 4Runner with California license plates.
During the pursuit that sped through several municipalities, the man fired several shots toward police, according to Wise. At least one bullet struck a pursuing Collinsville Police Department cruiser.
Wise said the man then ditched the 4Runner near 79th and State streets in East St. Louis and headed into a wooded area in Centreville city limits on foot. Radio transmissions indicated State Police were able to track the man’s movements in the woods because the bank bag he stole contained a tracking device.
Police officers, state troopers and FBI agents armed with handguns and assault-type rifles set up a perimeter around a ditch in a wooded area north of Lake Drive and west of Illinois 157. Wise said that when officers who followed the suspect into the woods confronted him, he shot himself.
The man was pronounced dead at the scene. Personnel from the St. Clair County Coroner’s office loaded the man’s body into a hearse that was parked near the treeline in the rear yard of 108 Pershing St. shortly before 5:30 p.m.
No injuries to police officers or bank employees were reported. Wise said the FBI was handling the bank robbery investigation while State Police were leading the investigation into the pursuit and death of the suspect.
The suspect’s name hasn’t been released pending the notification of his family.