Los Angeles, CA

Wild bank robbery that changed policing forever

Cristoval Victorial

Just another normal day, when chaos ensued. Early morning around 10:00 am loads of 911 calls went out to operators all throughout the city of L.A. of an attempted bank robbery happening at the Bank of America in North Hollywood.

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Detectives and an officer taking cover as bullets penetrate their vehiclesPhoto byRecoil Web

After meeting for months at a local gym, the two criminals Larry Phillips Jr. and Emil Mătăsăreanu decided to plot their heinous crime and carry it out. Using those months to plan it out, they began to accumulate stockpiles of armor, ammo, and military grade weaponry.

Larry Phillips Jr. (Left) and Emil Mătăsăreanu (Right)Photo byLAPD

On the day of the heist attempt, both suspects were described as wearing heavy duty armor from head to toe, strapped with enough arsenal to outgun all the police at the scene. After 44 minutes of pure mayhem, more than 2,000 rounds of ammunition were fired. Still until this day, it is considered one of the bloodiest shootouts in the history of the United States police force.

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Aftermath of shootoutPhoto byLA Times

Due to how heavily armed and protected these two men were, it made it almost impossible to subdue them or take them out using lethal force. At the time LAPD officers were only equipped with Berretta handguns and .38 revolvers which in turn were no match for their modified assault rifles. Through all the firefight and chaos that happened that morning, surprisingly there were no other fatalities except for the two criminals, although it was reported that at least 18 people were injured in the assault.

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Last photograph of Larry Phillips Jr. before he succumbed to his fatal leg shot wound.Photo byLA Times

This sad sickening assault prompted law enforcement across the country, to upgrade all police armament used nationwide. It also inspired Los Angeles and other cities to enact their own gun control measures when the state fails to do so. Although the police were outgunned in this situation, the police department still views it as success, since there were no fatalities of citizens or officers.

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