The latest in a long string of Marin County bank robberies ended with a police-involved shooting on Wednesday morning, according to reports from area agencies including the Novato and San Rafael Police Departments. Marin police quickly nabbed the unnamed suspect, who survived the shooting and a subsequent surgery early Wednesday afternoon.
Just after 9:00 a.m. on December 11, the suspect conducted a robbery at the Bank of the West in the 1300 block of Grant Avenue in Novato. The bank reported the robbery to the police immediately and NPD arrived on the scene a few minutes later, at 9:12 a.m.
NPD officers learned that the suspect was an adult white male and that he had driven away in a silver Saturn sedan. They distributed this description to law enforcement agencies within Marin County, who set up roadblocks at predetermined locations.
At 9:34, officers of the Marin County Sheriff’s Department spotted the sedan heading southbound on 101 and followed the suspect, who did not pull over as requested, when he exited the freeway at Lincoln Avenue. The suspect led deputies to Las Gallinas Avenue, where he had a collision with a pole, and left his vehicle holding a gun.
He ran across the street to the Wells Fargo Bank located at 600 Las Gallinas Avenue in San Rafael, where he continued to brandish his weapon until a deputy took action and fired.
Officers of the NPD and SRPD do not yet know whether the suspect is the “Cotton Ball Bandit” responsible for many bank robberies in the area, but are investigating this possibility in coordination with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The deputy who shot the suspect, who was worked at the Marin County Sheriff’s Office for over seven years, is currently on paid administrative leave in accordance with the procedure for any officer-involved shooting.
Officials have released the name of the man shot in the bank robbery – 60-year-old Christopher Jay Wootton of Larkspur. It is still not verified if he is indeed the same man tagged as the “Cotton Ball Bandit”.
Marin Independent Journal: Novato bank robbery suspect shot in San Rafael as police pursue link to serial case
San Rafael Patch: Novato Bank Robbery Suspect Shot in San Rafael After Frantic Chase