Brusly robbery ends in death (UPDATED)
After a short stand-off, police in West Baton Rouge shot and killed an armed robber who took a hostage and fled from Noah’s pharmacy with a pillowcase full of drugs and money on Monday night.
The man, Ray Charles Hayes, 50, of 979 Avenue C, Port Allen, entered Noah’s Pharmacy in Brusly right before 6 p.m., when the store was supposed to close. He entered wearing a ski mask and handed one of the three employees working at the time, a note, according to Brusly Police Chief, Jamie Whaley. Employees at the time of the alleged robbery were one pharmacist and two pharmacy technicians.
Whaley said that someone saw the ski-masked man entering the pharmacy and called police.
Brusly P.D. responded immediately. According to police, as Hayes tried to leave out of Noah’s Pharmacy’s back door, he saw police and ran back inside where he tied up the three employees and took as a hostage the only customer in the store.
“He got them to fill up a bag with what he wanted,” explained Whaley. “He went to go out the back door and the cops were already here.”
Addis Police Chief, Ricky Anderson, said that two Addis police units responded to a call for assistance from the Brusly P.D. and were posted at the pharmacy’s back door when the robbery suspect tried to come out.
“The guy came out the door, saw my two units at the back, went back in and that’s when he came out with a gun and a hostage,” he said. “My guys had to back off, and when they did, he took the hostage and shoved her in the police car, and they proceeded to flee.”
Shortly after 6 p.m., police believe the armed man, with his hostage, made Addis police back away from their vehicle, where he made the hostage get into the driver seat as he got into the passenger seat and they drove away.
“At that point,” Whaley said. “They didn’t want him to shoot the hostage.”
Before the stolen Addis P.D. vehicle reached the Intercoastal Canal Bridge northbound, the vehicle crashed into the backside of a truck and flipped over, into the median on La. Highway 1 in Port Allen.
Anderson said that he joined in the pursuit of the stolen vehicle before the crash occurred.
“I was behind them coming up, and one of the WBR units said ‘he wrecked out, he wrecked out,’ he recalled.
Louisiana State Police Trooper 1st Class Jared Sandifer said that once the stolen police vehicle crashed, Hayes exited the vehicle and participated in a “stand-off” with Brusly and Addis police officers who had pursued him from the scene of the alleged robbery.
“They actually negotiated with him, trying to get him to drop the gun and give himself up, he kept threatening that he was going to shoot his hostage and himself,” said Sandifer.
“Negotiations failed, the robbery suspect gave a countdown saying ‘I’m going to do this in five seconds,’ so that’s when Addis police opened fire, killing the robbery suspect.”
Sandifer said that the hostage was taken to a hospital with minor injuries due to the crash.
The pharmacist and pharmacy techs were uninjured.
Sandifer said there may have been a getaway vehicle at the pharmacy, who fled as police vehicles showed up.
“He had an accomplice, but he ended up taking off,” he said.
After looking at evidence in the alleged robbery, police are searching for a black 2000 Pontiac Firebird, in which they believe was supposed to be the getaway vehicle.
Whaley said he believed the robbery was directly correlated to a Bourg’s Drug Store robbery that occurred last week in Port Allen.
“I’m pretty sure it’s going to be the same (person),” Whaley said. “It’s a lot of similarities.”
Kim Paul, owner of Noah’s Pharmacy was out of town the night of the robbery.
According to Paul’s Facebook profile on Facebook.com, an Internet social media site, Paul had been in Washington D.C. since Saturday to attend the Presidential Inauguration on Monday evening.
Some close to the family believe the robbery suspect may have known the pharmacy's owner would be out of town due to Internet social media, as the suspect entered the place of business near 6 p.m., when the pharmacy was supposed to close.