A bank robbery in Orcutt resulted in the suspect, Robert Earl Adams, dead after a knife versus gun confrontation with a Sheriff’s deputy, according to Sheriff’s investigators. A call went out around 9 a.m. on Tuesday that the Coast Hills Credit Union at 1125 East Clark Avenue in Santa Maria was being robbed. The suspect had used a knife to take money from the teller, then fled the bank down a hill toward Bradley Road.

A Sheriff’s deputy encountered Adams at “Bradley Dip,” ordered him to drop his knife — which had a 4.5-inch blade — but Adams walked toward the deputy, who was opening his car door. The deputy fired, and Adams fell to the ground. Deputies arriving to the scene attempted life-saving measures until paramedics and fire personnel arrived. Adams was taken to the hospital, where he died.

Investigators subsequently found that the previous night, at the group home in Nipomo where the 30-year-old man lived, assault with a deadly weapon and attempted robbery/car theft was alleged. A vehicle was stolen in the neighborhood, later found crashed and abandoned.

The Coroner’s Office is examining the remains to determine a cause of death, and also running toxicology and lab reports. As per department policy, the deputy who shot Adams has been placed on leave, and the shooting is being investigated. The case will also go to the County District Attorney’s Office for review.


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