VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Late Monday, Virginia Beach police said investigators have determined there are only two suspects in an armed bank robbery and subsequent shootout Friday morning. Until then, police had been searching for a possible third suspect.
Rory Duke Diggs, 43, was arrested several hours after he and another man allegedly held up a Wells Fargo on General Booth Boulevard around 10 a.m. Friday. Authorities said they escaped in a Chevrolet Blazer, and when a state trooper saw the SUV speeding and tried to pull the vehicle over, the driver refused to stop. The officer chased it down a dead end street – Mansion Cross Lane.
According to eyewitnesses, that’s when gunfire began. The suspects shot at the trooper, grazing his head with a bullet. At some point, one suspect fled on foot. The other suspect spun the SUV around and drove past the trooper, continuing to fire shots at him. The injured trooper was taken to a local hospital and released Friday night.
Diggs, the driver of the SUV, was arrested shortly after the shootout. John Anthony Lewis, 41, was arrested as the second suspect around 3 a.m. Saturday.
Monday evening, VBPD spokeswoman Tonya Borman said investigators had gathered much information and evidence from the chaotic course of events, and determined the only suspects involved were Diggs and Lewis. She also said an additional charge had been filed against Lewis — attempt to commit a capital offense.
Lewis and Diggs faced a judge Monday afternoon, and 10 On Your Side’s Deanna LeBlanc was in the Virginia Beach courtroom. The suspects were arraigned on three robbery charges and three firearm charges. Like Lewis, Diggs also faces an attempt to commit a capital offense charge.
Diggs’ attorney told WAVY.com it will be interesting to see if the case moves to federal court. Banks are all Federal Deposit Insurance Corporations, which means the federal government could decide to step in and take the lead away from the Commonwealth.
On Monday, WAVY.com went by the Chesapeake pizzeria where Lewis was a delivery driver. His boss said Lewis was “a normal guy,” and a dedicated father of two. He said Lewis stayed home to take care of his kids during the day while his wife worked, and Lewis worked part-time at night. He said — thought he knows it’s unlikely — he hopes Lewis being connected to Friday’s bank robbery is just a big misunderstanding.
10 On Your Side also went to Diggs’ Towne Center condominium. His neighbors said they didn’t know him well and wondered why police swarmed his home early Saturday morning.
A friend from high school said both Diggs and Lewis went to Green Run High School together. They have been close friends for years and are very well liked. The unidentified source said he was “completely blown away” when he heard Diggs’ and Lewis’ names associated with the bank robbery. Although, he said, it wasn’t shocking to him. The source said Diggs had another side to him; he was always a “thrill seeker.” The friend said Diggs took an interest in guns and body armor when he was in his early 20s.
Diggs and Lewis may have been working together to rob banks, since 2011, according to a statement from the FBI that said they’re investigating Friday’s robbery in connection with a dozen others. The following is a list of those bank robberies.
Virginia Beach banks:
- 1/11/11: Bank of America, 3333 Virginia Beach Boulevard
- 11/4/11: Bank of America, 3333 Virginia Beach Boulevard
- 4/13/12: BB&T, 1300 North Great Neck Road
- 5/9/12: Bank of America, 1125 Nimmo Parkway
- 9/18/12: Bank of America 4616 Virginia Beach Boulevard
- 1/15/13: Wells Fargo, 5284 Providence Road
- 5/10/13: Wells Fargo, 5284 Providence Road
- 8/7/13: Wells Fargo, 2677 Virginia Beach Boulevard
- 1/11/12: Wells Fargo 111 Gainsborough Square
- 3/19/12: BB&T, 825 Volvo Parkway
- 10/23/13: Wells Fargo, 821 N. Battlefield Boulevard
- 5/16/14: Wells Fargo, 672 N. Battlefield Boulevard