Tyler Co. authorities apprehend bank robbery suspect

COLMESNEIL, TX (KTRE) - Tyler County Sheriff's officials, along with Department of Public Safety troopers and Woodville police apprehended a Colmesneil man after a bank robbery. Authorities arrested him following a 4-1/2 hour search.

Tyler County Sheriff's officials say William Shutter, a white man wearing a ski mask, black jacket and black pants walked into the Compass Bank in Colmesneil shortly before noon Wednesday and demanded money.

"He attempted to take someone's vehicle from inside the bank," said Tyler County Sheriff David Hennigan.  "The person gave him a not-so-good description of the vehicle. So, he was looking for the wrong vehicle. He gave up and he took off on foot."

According to Hennigan, authorities found William Shutter, who Hennigan estimated to be around 20 years old, in an abandoned tin building near Lake Tejas. He was arrested around 4 p.m. without incident.

Investigators say the man was armed with a pistol and got away on foot with nearly $5,000.  They say no one was hurt during the robbery, which occurred around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.

"I'm assuming due to this economy, we've had a lot of incidents that have just been happening," said Hennigan.  "This is now the second armed bank robbery we've had in less than a year and that's something that's unheard of around here in this area."

Colmesneil ISD campuses were on lock down for much of the afternoon during the manhunt.

"The doors are all locked at the school. You don't get in unless someone lets you in," explained Beth Faircloth.  "My oldest son sent me a text message telling me the bank had been robbed and asked if I was okay because we work right next door to the bank.  It's been pretty crazy ever since then."

"They just locked us up," said 9th grade student Chance Bailey.  "They left us in the library for a couple hours."

The layout of Colmesneil only complicated the search.

"There's a lot of woods back here and it's hard to track through these woods," said Hennigan.

"It's a small town and there's a lot of woods, so there's a lot of places to hide," said Faircloth.

Hennigan said his office will file a federal charge of bank robbery on Shutter.