It was a day like any other on January 20, 2016 at the Alpine Bank in Rockford, Illinois. People were conducting business as usual when a masked gunman entered the bank and fired one shot into the ceiling. Then, he aimed at a Metro Enforcement security officer. Vulnerable and terrified, those inside the bank hoped for a fast miracle.
That miracle came in the form of the security officer, Brian Harrison, who is a former Winnebago County deputy. Harrison, who is now being deemed a hero, acted quickly, pulling his own gun and fatally shooting the masked gunman. Authorities announced on Tuesday that Harrison would not be charged for his brave action.
“There is no doubt in my mind the actions of Brian Harrison saved the lives of those that were employees in the Alpine Bank location on that date and saved his own life,” Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato said.
“They are taught generally to shoot center mass in the body,” Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea said. “This is a very dynamic, fluid situation and he’s doing what he was trained for 30 years to do and it was eliminate and take care of the threat.”
The Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office fully support Harrison, saying his actions were warranted. Harrison was acting in his own self-defense and the defense of others.
The bank robber was on drugs at the time and has also been linked to three other armed robberies in November and December of 2016 at Mincemoyer Jewelers, Harvard State Bank, and Members Alliance Credit Union. The deceased gunman was identified as 34-year-old Laurence Turner of Rockford.