I-15 near Utah/Arizona state line closed after bank robbery suspect's suicide


A 43-year-old Florida man accused of robbing a bank in Mesquite on Tuesday killed himself in Arizona shortly after the robbery, Mesquite police said.

The man was identified as Troy Eugene Williams from Punta Gorda, Fla.

Police said that at 11:38 a.m., they were dispatched to a holdup at Nevada Bank and Trust. Officers were told that Williams had entered the bank and told employees he had a gun and a bomb. He never brandished a gun, police said.

Williams, who was wearing a fake mustache, left the bank with $2,800 and fled in a vehicle.

Mesquite police sent an all-points bulletin about Williams to area law enforcement agencies. Shortly after that, an Arizona Department of Public Safety officer saw a vehicle fitting the description of Williams' getaway car headed north on Interstate 15 near mile marker 11. The officer pulled the vehicle over at mile marker 20.

Police said that as the officer tried to make contact, Williams placed a handgun to his head and shot himself. Williams was pronounced dead at the scene.

The incident might have caused major traffic delays along I-15 in several states.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the Utah Department of Transportation said traffic was closed in both directions on I-15 near the Utah-Arizona line Tuesday evening for a "hazardous materials situation." The closure began about 8 p.m. and remained in effect until further notice.

Northbound I-15 was closed to semi-trailers because of a police investigation at Exit 8 in northwest Arizona, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. Cars were diverted to County Road 91 in Arizona. Southbound I-15 in Utah was closed at Exit 2.

Officials with Mesquite police and the Utah Department of Transportation were unable to say definitively Tuesday night whether the closures were related to Williams' suicide earlier in the day.

 

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