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Robbery suspect wounded, arrested in Eugene

Eugene police officers survey the scene of an attempted armored truck robbery and shooting in the parking lot of an Albertson's supermarket in Santa Clara Square March 22. Two Garda armored truck agents were uninjured in the incident. The man who attempted the robbery was shot and transported to hospital.

Eugene police officers survey the scene of an attempted armored truck robbery and shooting in the parking lot of an Albertson's supermarket in Santa Clara Square March 22. Two Garda armored truck agents were uninjured in the incident. The man who attempted the robbery was shot and transported to hospital. AP Photo/The Register-Guard, Paul Carter

EUGENE — Passers-by helped subdue a man Saturday afternoon after he allegedly tried to rob an armored truck and was shot multiple times by one of the truck’s guards in front of the Albertsons supermarket at 55 Division Ave. in Eugene’s Santa Clara Square.

The suspect, who has not been identified, was transported to PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield. His condition was not known.

The incident occurred about 3:40 p.m.

Some witnesses said they heard five shots fired. Others reported three.

Brian Crapser, who works as a security guard, said he had walked past the suspect in front of the Albertsons store a few minutes before the incident while on his way to Oak Grove Guns, around the corner in the same shopping center.

“I walked right by him on the way to the gun store, and he was standing by one of the pillars, and when anyone walked by he would turn and sort of hide his face,” Crapser said. “Being in the security business myself, that’s something I would notice.”

Crapser had been in the gun store only minutes when people came running in and said, “If we had guns we needed to come, there was shooting going on outside,” Crapser recalled. He immediately ran around the corner, where he saw a man on the ground.

“There was a soldier there from the recruiting office, dressed in fatigues, and he told him to put his hands up, and he did. We each held one of his arms, and he stated, ‘I’m paralyzed, I’m paralyzed,’?” Crapser said.

“He wouldn’t give his name, and he was fading in and out,” Crapser said. “A woman came by who said she was a medic, and she checked his wounds.

“The gun store guy checked for weapons.”

Crapser’s brother-in-law, David Marshall, who also was on the scene, said the only weapons found were “a can of mace and a screwdriver.”

Eugene Police Department spokeswoman Melinda McLaughlin said she didn’t know whether the guard who fired the shots at the alleged robber had been on his way in or out of the Albertsons store. But that after the shooting he got back in the armored truck, which carried the Garda logo, and the driver pulled away from the scene and drove to a safe location and called 911.

Neither of the security guards were injured during the incident, she said.

Three hours after the shooting, a Garda truck remained parked across Division Avenue, surrounded by red safety tape.

A few items of clothing and a baseball cap with a Camping World logo remained on the pavement near the curb in front of the supermarket, which still was cordoned off with yellow “caution” tape.

The incident is under investigation by the Eugene Police Department’s Violent Crimes and Forensic Evidence units.

Follow Randi on Twitter @BjornstadRandi . Email randi.bjornstad@registerguard.com .

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