LUMBERTON, NC (WMBF) – A massive manhunt is underway for four suspects who robbed a Lumberton bank Tuesday afternoon and opened fire on law enforcement officers during a vehicle chase through two North Carolina counties, according to Robeson County Sheriff Kenneth Sealey.
Around 3 p.m. Tuesday, the PNC Bank branch in Lumberton was robbed. Sealey said police officers, sheriff’s deputies and troopers with the N.C. Highway Patrol then started pursuing the suspects.
The vehicle chase went from Lumberton into the unincorporated areas of Robeson County, and then into Columbus County, he added. The suspects reportedly fired their weapons at law enforcement and several patrol cars were hit.
“We were blessed. Nobody got injured,” Sealey said.
According to the sheriff, two of the suspects jumped out in Robeson County, while the other two fled somewhere within Columbus County.
As of 9:30 p.m., a manhunt was still taking place for the suspects. Sealey said the FBI, highway patrol and numerous area law enforcement agencies were searching three different areas across Robeson and Columbus counties for the suspects.
Thurman Ward, whose fiancé works at the bank, said he was at the barbershop when his significant other called to tell him about the robbery.
Ward said he rushed over to the bank and found that police had it barricaded.
“I was trying to see what was going on. The most important thing to me was to see if she was all right. She was hysterical. I’m glad that she’s okay,” Ward said.
As law enforcement continues their search, Sealey asked that residents don’t answer their doors for people they don’t know and call law enforcement if they see anyone suspicious in their neighborhoods.
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