On Tuesday morning, two masked and armed suspects forcefully entered a Tennessee bank executive’s home forced him and his family to enter the family car, drove the vehicle to the man’s workplace, and requested him to rob it.
During the robbery, the two gunmen stayed in the car holding the banker’s wife and infant at gunpoint, investigators said.
Tanner Harris, the vice president of a Knoxville branch of Smartbank, said that the two men were heavily armed when they entered his home and managed to blindfold and handcuff him and his wife Abbey. The invaders were carrying a long gun and a couple of handguns which they used to force the couple and their 5-month infant into the family’s car.
The suspects drove the vehicle to Harris’ bank and urged him to withdraw a certain sum of money from the bank if he wanted to see his family alive again. Although the bank executive did what the two gunmen requested, they declined to release his wife and infant.
They quickly drove off and left the man alone in the parking lot.
The family car was driven to a remote dirt road in West Knox, where the suspects abandoned it with Abbey and her child inside. Both mother and child were not injured. Abbey managed to drive the car to a nearby construction site and called for help.
When her neighbor and close friend Amy Lavelle heard about the incident, she praised Abbey for being so brave.
“I don’t know what I would do in that situation. I’ll have to give them a lot of support. They’re a great family, wonderful people. My heart just reaches out to them,”
Ms. Lavelle, continued.
The FBI agents who are conducting an investigation into the Knoxville robbery reported that the case is very similar to another kidnapping of a credit union chief executive’s family in April. Federal agents believe that the authors are the same people. Ed Reinhold, the chief FBI investigator, said that his team doesn’t have all the evidence, but there is a “good possibility.”
The two men are white and may be relatives. One of them is five feet, nine inches tall, while the other is six feet, one inch tall. As of now, their whereabouts remain unknown. Investigators said that witnesses reported they had seen the bank executive’s Mazda sedan being driven with no apparent purpose during the time Harris was robbing his own branch.
Image Source: Knoxville News Sentinel