ORCUTT, Calif. - A suspect died Tuesday morning after an officer-involved shooting with a Santa Barbara County Sheriff's deputy following a bank robbery at the Coast Hills Credit Union in Orcutt.
"At approximately 9:15 this morning, Sheriff deputies reported to a report of a strong armed robbery at the Coast Hills Credit Union on Clark Avenue in Orcutt," said Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office public information officer Kelly Hoover. "The suspect was armed with a knife."
Tuesday night, the suspect was identified as 30-year-old Robert Earl Adams of Nipomo.
According to Hoover, following the robbery, Adams was seen running away from the scene by witnesses towards Bradley Road.
"He fled with an undisclosed amount of cash," said Hoover. "He was observed running down the hill at Bradley Road, in the "Bradley Dip" area, and that's when a deputy located him an officer involved shooting occurred."
In a press release, Hoover stated the first Sheriff’s deputy to arrive in the area near the bank robbery located Adams, who refused to follow orders and drop the four ½ inch blade steak knife.
Hoover added the ensuing investigation revealed Adams was involved in several felony violations in the Nipomo area.
The violations included assault with a deadly weapon and attempted robbery/auto theft.
Adams left the area with a stolen vehicle that was abandoned and later located by authorities.
According to a witness that did not want to be identified, the suspect entered the Coast Hills shortly after it opened and robbed the credit union at knife point.
Hoover said the suspect was treated at the scene by deputies, then was then transported to a local hospital, where he died.
After the shooting, Bradley Road, between Clark Avenue and Rice Ranch Road was closed, presenting a traffic situation for people traveling in the area.
During the investigation, Sheriff Bill Brown arrived on the scene to speak with detectives.
Hoover said it's standard protocol for the Brown to come to the scene where an officer involved shooting happens.
"This is the type of thing we never want to see happen," Hoover said. "This is a situation where everyone is saddened by and we will definitely be taking our time to do a thorough investigation."
This is the second fatal officer involved shooting for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office this year.
The first happened just outside the Santa Barbara city limits in February.
The Sheriff's deputy in the Orcutt shooting has been placed on paid administrative leave and was not identified.