A robbery attempt and wild shootout outside a Chase bank branch in Houston on Monday left a guard in critical condition, prompting one caring witness to stop and pray over the victim until paramedics could reach the scene.
Bullets were exchanged outside the bank when two armored vehicles were routinely refilling an ATM machine, KTRK-TV reported. Police say three or four suspects jumped out of a vehicle, approached the scene and began shooting at the guards, who returned fire.
The chaotic scene, which unfolded around 10:30 a.m., sent witnesses fleeing for cover.
"I was just backing out and I heard pow, pow -- eight to 10 gunshots," Kirk Filipp told KROI radio, who fled on foot when panic in the parking lot created a traffic jam that he was unable to drive out of.
The suspects apparently abandoned their robbery plans and fled the scene in a gray Dodge Charger after the guards returned fire.
The assailants' vehicle was later recovered at a nearby nursing home. Authorities believe the men fled in a second getaway vehicle that was waiting for them.
One of the armored vehicle workers was shot multiple times, though the second guard was unharmed. Suffering multiple gunshot wounds, KTRK reported, the injured man was taken to the hospital, but not before one witness was able to pray over him and try to offer some comfort.
"When the emergency crew came up, he asked if he was gonna be okay, and I was like 'Yes, you're going to be OK,' and I prayed for him," witness Kabaca Jones said.
Jones said she caressed the officer's legs and tried to comfort him while witnesses waited for emergency crews to arrive.
Police are still looking for the suspects, who were described as wearing jeans and T-shirts at the time of the attack. There have been no updates on the victim's condition.