LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES
Police Search Garage for Clues to Deliveryman Death
Aired September 5, 2003 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And a good evening to you. Thanks for joining us. I'm Anderson Cooper.
New developments in an Erie investigation today. FBI agents searched a garage in Erie, Pennsylvania, for evidence as they continue to try and solve that bizarre bank robbery.
It started, you'll remember, one week ago. A pizza deliveryman says he was forced to rob a bank with a bomb locked to his chest, attached around his neck. The device exploded, killing the man before he could fully explain.
CNN's Mike Brooks has the very latest developments -- Mike.
MIKE BROOKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Anderson.
An FBI search of a garage in downtown Erie concluded within the last hour. Agents carried away boxes of evidence. As far as we know no arrests have been made, but one person connected with the garage is said to be a friend of Brian Wells, the bank robber who was killed in a bomb blast eight days ago.
BROOKS (voice-over): Moments after this bank was robbed last week in Erie, Pennsylvania, police knew they had a bomb problem. This call came in on 911.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm calling about that bank robbery at PNC Bank, Sandstone (ph) Plaza.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. What happened?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The guy just walked out with a -- I don't know how much cash in the bag. He had a bomb or something wrapped around his neck.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You saw him with the bomb or whatever it was?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. He's got it strapped around his neck.
BROOKS: Pizza deliveryman Brian Wells was stopped a short distance away, the bomb against his chest.
The "Erie Times-News" reports a witness standing in the line right behind Wells said he asked the teller for a quarter of a million dollars in cash. And when he was handed a bag with far less than that amount, Wells said he would come back later for more.
The witness said Wells was carrying a walking cane, one that investigators now say was rigged to fire just like a gun.
When stopped, Wells told police that someone else had put the bomb around his neck and forced him to rob the bank. He died when the bomb went off about 40 minutes later.
This afternoon, FBI explosive examiners and the Erie police bomb squad searched a garage in a residential area here. They could be seen carrying away white boxes full of evidence.
The man who owns the garage told us his stepson was a friend of Brian Wells. His stepson left with the FBI, but it's not clear what connection, if any, he has with the case.
COOPER: Mike, there are so many unanswered questions at this point. There was a note given to bank tellers, also, I guess, a note with instructions about the bomb. Do they know yet or have they said, or authorities said whether or not the note was in Wells' handwriting?
BROOKS: They have not said, Anderson, whether or not the note has come back from the FBI lab. They have not said whether it was in his handwriting or possibly the handwriting of someone else. We do not know.
But one significant piece to this search: FBI explosives examiners from the lab in Quantico were at that garage today helping in that search -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Looking for any sort of answers. Mike Brooks, thanks very much.
So many unanswered questions.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com