Suspected Bank Robber Killed In Crash During 130 MPH Pursuit in Texas

September 17, 2019 Updated: September 17, 2019

A bank robbery suspect was killed on impact after fleeing Texas police in a 130 mph chase that ended when he lost control after one of his tires was spiked, hitting a tree with enough force to throw the burning engine block clear of the wreckage.

LeEdward Hopkins, 43, was one of two suspects in the robbery of a bank in Wharton, Texas, on the morning of Sept. 12.

He was later spotted that evening around 150 miles away, driving a black Dodge Challenger RT through the town of Lufkin, according to a statement by the police.

When challenged, Hopkins refused to pull over and fled, leading law enforcement on a chase that ended when his Dodge veered off the road next to a golf course in Nacogdoches.

LeEdward Hopkins. (Lufkin Police Department)

The Lufkin Police Department released dashcam footage of the pursuit, including the moment of the crash.

“Hopkins apparently died on impact and was pronounced dead at the scene by a Nacogdoches County Justice of the Peace,” said the police in a statement.

9-12-19 Pursuit Video

PURSUIT VIDEO (viewer discretion advised): Here is the video of yesterday's pursuit with Wharton, Texas, bank robbery suspect LeEdward Hopkins. The following is taken from the in-car videos of LPD Officer Cody Deal and Pct. 1 Constable Tom Selman. Top speeds during the chase reached more than 130 mph. Hopkins died after losing control of his vehicle following a tire spike near Woodland Hills Golf Course in Nacogdoches. An undisclosed amount of cash and a loaded pistol with additional magazines were located in Hopkins' vehicle. The men robbed a Wharton,Texas, bank around 11:30 a.m yesterday at gunpoint and fled the area. DPS received information around 7 p.m. that Hopkins was traveling through Lufkin on Loop 287 in a black Dodge Challenger R/T. Officer Deal initiated a traffic stop on Hopkins' vehicle around 7:10 p.m., but Hopkins refused to pull over. Additional agencies, including Constable Selman, joined the U.S. 59 north chase. The officer and constable told Hopkins to stop the vehicle using their vehicle PA systems, but again he refused. Constable Selman also attempted to shoot out one of Hopkins' tires (around the 1:10 minute mark as the suspect vehicle passes him just after the failed spike – you can hear the pop) but was not successful. Hopkins' co-conspirator Tony Mitchell, 42, of Houston, remains at large. He was not with Hopkins at the time of the crash. No one else was injured in the pursuit.

تم النشر بواسطة ‏‎Lufkin Police & Fire‎‏ في الجمعة، ١٣ سبتمبر ٢٠١٩

“An undisclosed amount of cash was recovered from the vehicle, along with a loaded pistol and additional magazines.”

The wrecked Dodge Challenger, moments after crashing in Nacogdoches, Texas, on Sept. 12, 2019. (Screenshot/Lufkin Police)

The other suspect in the robbery, Tony Mitchell, 42, of Houston, was not in the vehicle, said police, and is still at large.

After initially refusing to stop, Hopkins had raced along U.S. 59 toward the city of Nacogdoches as multiple agencies joined the pursuit.

At one point an officer tried unsuccessfully to shoot out the back tire.

“Hopkins broke away from law enforcement as he neared Nacogdoches city limits, reaching speeds of more than 130 mph,” police said. “He lost control of the vehicle after one of his tires was spiked near Woodland Hills Golf Course.”

“The vehicle veered off the road, hit a power pole, and went airborne into a tree before eventually coming to a stop in a tree line near the 12th hole,” said the police, describing the moment that can be seen in the dashcam footage. “The car’s engine block caught fire, but it had been thrown from the vehicle.”

Photographs posted along with the statement show the wreckage strewn across the area around the Dodge’s wrecked carcass.

PURSUIT UPDATE: Lufkin Police officials have identified the deceased in last night’s pursuit as Wharton, Texas, bank…

تم النشر بواسطة ‏‎Lufkin Police & Fire‎‏ في الجمعة، ١٣ سبتمبر ٢٠١٩

Hopkins and Mitchell of Houston are suspected of robbing the First State Bank of Louise at gunpoint, making off with an undisclosed amount of cash in a case now being investigated by the Criminal Investigations Division.

The division had alerted Lufkin Police when they received information that Hopkins was heading through the area north on Loop 287.

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