TRAGEDY: Shots fired (again) at ''no-guns'' Fifth Third Bank

For the second day this week, shots have been fired in a robbery of a Fifth Third Bank branch in Columbus.

The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that a Columbus police officer died this afternoon after being shot in an armed robbery at the Fifth Third Bank at 6265 E. Broad Street at McNaughten Road on the Far East Side.

Police told the Dispatch Officer Bryan Hurst, 33, was working special duty at the bank when a man wearing a ski mask and hooded jacket entered about 10:35 a.m. in what police spokesman Sgt. Brent Mull described as a "takeover style robbery."

According to the newspaper, the man brandished a chrome semi-automatic pistol yelled that it was a robbery and ordered defenseless customers and tellers to get on the floor.

The man then saw Hurst working inside the bank and went toward him, Mull told the newspaper. The two exchanged gunfire, with Hurst hit by at least one bullet. The suspect, also hit, then retreated.

Hurst, an eight-year veteran of the Columbus Police Division, was taken to Grant Hospital, where he died this afternoon.

According to the Dispatch, police believe that the robber may have been shot and also may have been cut by broken glass as he escaped on foot into the parking lot. Police followed a trail of blood into the parking lot.

"We believe he will seek medical attention," Mull was quoted as saying, adding that the Ohio Highway Patrol is checking hospitals around the state.

The newspaper reports that Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman (who opposes the right to bear arms for self-defense), ordered city flags flown at half-staff in honor of the fallen officer.

The question that probably crosses nearly everyone's mind as they read about this tragedy is this:

What if Officer Hurst had not been present?!?

According to the Dispatch, Columbus Police think they know the answer...

Click on the "Read More..." link below for more.

The paper says Sgt. Mull praised Hurst's actions in confronting the suspect, saying that police believe he prevented additional injuries to others in the bank at the time. (emphasis added) quotes Columbus PD Deputy Chief Stephen Gammill as saying "the officer, through his actions, saved the lives of many people inside the bank by returning gunfire and preventing anyone else from inside the bank from being injured." (emphasis added)

Not every "no-guns" bank in Ohio has an armed guard inside. In fact, while describing a robbery of another Fifth Third in Cincinnati this past November, reported that some Fifth Third banks have unarmed guards inside.

The management of this Ohio-based bank have been warned repeatedly: Criminals couldn't care less about their ridiculous "no-guns" signs.

And what do Fifth Third customers receive when they contact the company about their concerns? Many have received a form letter stating that Fifth Third posts these signs "to limit the anxiety and concerns of the majority of our customers".

But with each passing day, it appears customers have more and more of a reason to have increased anxiety due to the presence of these signs at Fifth Third, not the presence of a trained, licensed CHL-holder who has gone through an extensive background check.

Every law-abiding person in this state has a constitutional right to bear arms for self-defense, and Fifth Third is guilty of gross negligence in taking that right away from its customers by enforcing this discriminatory and dangerous policy.

Fifth Third accepts customer feedback on its website, or by phone at 1-800-972-3030.

The following stories represent the many robberies at Fifth Third banks since the company began posting "no-guns" signs. Remember - these are just the ones we know about:

Spate of robberies at ''no-guns'' banks continues

''Rob Me'' signs work wonders: Two more ''no guns'' banks hit at year-end

Armed men rob ''no-guns'' Fifth Third bank

Fifth Third Bank robbery: not even the guards are armed

'Patient' robber calm & cool in ''no-guns'' banks

Two more ''No-guns'' banks robbed this week

Fifth Third customer reveals conundrum facing defenseless victims

VICTIM ZONES: Three Columbus Fifth Thirds robbed in same day

Middletown Fifth-Third bank latest ''no-guns'' business to be robbed

Tony Gordon Fund moved from bank on Do Not Patronize While Armed list

AGAIN: ''Posted'' Fifth Third bank inside Kroger robbed

Double jeopardy: Bank robber passes TWO companies' ''No-Guns'' signs

Broad daylight robbery at Fifth-Third Bank

''First bank robbery this year'' at posted Willoughby Fifth Third branch

ANOTHER VICTIM ZONE ROBBERY: Gunman robs Fifth Third bank

Ft. Knox Ntl. Bank removes signs; Customer robbed at Fifth-Third

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