Security Guard Killed in Foiled Bank Robbery

Wednesday, Aug 31, 2011  |  Updated 10:22 PM CDT
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Dallas Police said a security guard died after he was shot by a suspected bank robber near the Bank of America in the 3500 block of South Lancaster on Wednesday.

Julie Tam, NBC 5

Dallas Police said a security guard died after he was shot by a suspected bank robber near the Bank of America in the 3500 block of South Lancaster on Wednesday.

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A security guard died after he was shot during a failed bank robbery in Dallas on Wednesday, police said.

Dallas police said a man had entered a secure teller area at the Bank of America in the 3500 block of South Lancaster Road when the security guard, 55-year-old Lionel Newell, intervened.

During the confrontation, the man grabbed Newell's gun and shot him.

The man then left the bank and went about a block away to the 1800 block of Overton Road where he confronted two people working on the air-conditioning system of the Holy Trinity Church of God in Christ.

The armed man demanded a vehicle and tried to take a car but was stopped by police before he could get away.

"It was so frightful and so sudden," said pastor T.T. Terry, who was outside with the repairman when the gunman demanded his keys.

Newell was transported to an area hospital, where he later died. He is survived by his wife and his 14-year-old daughter.

He had been assigned to the Bank of America branch in East Oak Cliff since 2007.

"I was watching the news, and I was saying, 'Lord please don't let it be him,'" said close friend Cathy Jones. "I'd been trying to call his phone and didn't get no answer."

"I sure wasn't expecting yesterday to be the last time I heard from him," she said. "He sure is going to be missed."

Tyrone Washington, who called Newell a close and friend and who works security at a nearby shopping center, said he hopes authorities "throw the book" at the suspect.

"He (Newell) was just trying to make a living," he said.

Police have not yet released the name of the suspect.

"We are not releasing the name or photo at this time to avoid messing up witness identification," Lt. Scott Walton said.

NBC 5's Julie Tam and Ellen Goldberg contributed to this report.

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