Affidavit: Bank Robbery Suspect Admits to Killing Elderly Custom - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Affidavit: Bank Robbery Suspect Admits to Killing Elderly Customer

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Van McDuffie Van McDuffie
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A court affidavit says a man accused of robbing a south Reno bank and killing a customer has confessed to the crime.

Investigators say the customer identified as 80-year-old Charles Sperry was trying to intervene with the suspect during Wednesday's robbery inside the Bank of America on South Virginia Street.

Police say intervention is rare during bank robberies and not something anyone should try.

"In my 18 years, I haven't seen something happen where there's a shooting victim involved, but with any type of crime I'd tell people to be a very good witness, not to interject. It's your safety, it's other people's safety even if you try to do the right thing, it could harm others as well," says Lt. Bill Rulla.

A filed court affidavit states that 66-year-old Van McDuffie "barged into the bank and pushed a couple of people on his way up to the teller." He then stated "this is a robbery. Give me all your money" and then showed her a gun. When she started giving him money, the court document goes on to say that 80-year-old Charles Sperry, who was at the next teller counter, told McDuffie to leave, and that's when police say McDuffie shot Sperry. He then turned to Sperry's teller and demanded money from that employee.

Sperry died at the scene.

McDuffie is charged with bank robbery with use of a dangerous weapon causing death.

Police say by chance an unarmed off-duty officer was inside the bank when the incident happened. He called 911 and followed the suspect out of the bank. Police say he tackled McDuffie at the Meadowood bus stop across the street, took away his gun and held him until other officers arrived on scene.

To read a copy of the court affidavit, click here.

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