Concealed Handgun Permit Holder Stops Helps Stop Robber: "Authorities say `good Samaritan' bought deputies time"

Chappell handed a teller a few bills, and the teller collected the coins for him. Shots rang out. Chappell glanced up and saw that the teller at the next window, Eva Lovelady Hudson, had been fatally shot.

Merriweather continued firing down the line of tellers, Chappell said, killing Sheila Prevo. Customers and employees ran for cover.

At the counter, Merriweather demanded money and keys. No one is sure whether that demand came before or after he fired his gun, or if it was during the barrage.

Merriweather then dashed behind the counter and grabbed teller LaToya Freeman by the hair and ordered her to open the vault. Another teller, Anita Gordon, tried to protect her co-worker, but Merriweather turned and shot Gordon in the face and neck. Freeman fell to the floor, leaving some of her hair in Merriweather's grip. Merriweather fired shots at Freeman, blowing off the tip of her right index finger.

Amid the rampage, Chappell and at least one other customer fled the bank.

Chappell was carrying his own gun, for which he has a concealed weapon permit. He took cover by his sport utility vehicle just outside the front doors, drew his weapon and waited.

Inside the bank, with Freeman wounded and no longer able to comply with his demands, Merriweather grabbed bank manager Myron Gooding and forced him to open the vault. Merriweather then grabbed a bag of money and exited the bank.

He found Chappell waiting.

"I was prepared to shoot him," Chappell said.

Returned with hostage:

Merriweather threw his hands up and turned to go inside after seeing Chappell. He returned to the doors a second time only to go back inside the bank. But when he returned a third time, he had taken Gooding hostage.

At the same time, sheriff's deputies Ray Sorenson and Randy Davis were passing by the bank when they spotted a woman falling. She fell, rolled, got back up and kept running.

The deputies, who serve outstanding warrants, quickly turned around to investigate. That's when they spotted Chappell standing outside, his gun drawn. Chappell screamed that an armed man inside had shot "two or three people."

"I'm very surprised that the guy he held hostage didn't get his head blowed off," Chappell said.

Thanks very much to John Harlow for sending this to me.

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