Two bank employees killed, another injured in southern Illinois heist

CAIRO, Ill. – One person is in custody after a violent bank robbery in Cairo left two bank employees dead and another critically injured.

Illinois State Police confirm the robbery happened around 5:15 p.m. Thursday at First National Bank on Washington Avenue.

Preliminary findings of the investigation shows a man entered the bank and announced a robbery. The unidentified man was armed with a handgun according to authorities who said during the course of the hold-up, two of the three employees were killed.

Officials did not elaborate on how the two victims killed or the nature of the third victims injuries.

Just hours later, authorities arrested 30-year-old James Watts on a railroad trestle in Cairo after leading police on a car chase involving a vehicle he stole from one of the bank employees. Watts was charged Friday with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

If convicted, Watts faces up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of $250,000.

Between 2003 and 2011, a total of 24 people have been killed throughout the United States in bank robberies, with the majority of them being bank guards, according to FBI crime statistics.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.


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