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Guard Dies in Failed Bank Robbery

October 8, 2002

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ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Two men have been arrested and a third suspect was being sought Tuesday, a day after a bank guard was fatally shot during a scuffle with would-be robbers, authorities said.

The two were arrested late Monday. Their names were not released, and charges had not yet been filed. Police declined to say whether the men arrested were the would-be robbers, or how a third may have been involved.

Nathan Ley, 25, was credited with thwarting the robbery at the Bank of America branch on the city’s north side. He died at a hospital about two hours after he was shot twice in the head.

``Obviously, he died doing what he was supposed to do. Who knows how many lives he saved inside the bank,″ Police Chief Joe Mokwa said.

About 15 people were in the bank when the robbers entered around 3 p.m.

Police said one man pulled a ski mask over his face in the bank’s parking lot as the second suspect confronted the guard near the front door. After a brief struggle, Ley was shot at point-blank range.

The robbers fled empty-handed in different directions, police said. Searchers used a police helicopter and tracking dogs.

Bank of America said a memorial fund would be set up in Ley’s name.

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