Perpetrators of recent bank robberies arrested, one killed

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Perpetrators of recent bank robberies arrested, one killed

Scene of Deputy Involved Shooting following pursuit of bank robbery suspect Michael Chamberlain,  photo by Cheryl Clanton

Bank robberies have been on the rise in Hernando County and surrounding areas lately. On Sept. 20, 2017, the BB&T Bank located at 5331 Spring Hill Drive in Spring Hill was robbed. Bank employees reported that the suspect was a white male, wearing a dark-colored shirt and a Dallas Cowboys baseball cap, carrying a tan satchel. Just after the robbery, a witness reported seeing an individual matching this description get into a black vehicle that was parked nearby, and flee the area. A “Be on the lookout” order was issued for a black Toyota Camry with Georgia tags, occupied by one male and at least one other person. The description actually matched a few other bank robberies in the state as well. Detective Kimberly Burger spotted a black Toyota Camry without of state tags driving fast eastbound on Cortez Boulevard near the Suncoast Parkway. Backup units were dispatched and within 20 minutes of the initial call being received, a felony traffic stop was conducted on the black Camry at Cortez Boulevard and Cobb Road.


Deputies arresting robbery suspect on Cortez and the truck bypass, photo by HCSO

The driver was identified as Lemuel Davis. John Goff was in the back seat, along with a Dallas Cowboys baseball cap and a tan satchel. Witnesses were brought to the scene, who positively identified Goff as the individual who robbed the bank. Both Goff and Davis were brought to the HCSO for interrogation where Goff confessed to both robberies at the BB&T Bank in Hernando County as well as several other bank robberies in other counties throughout the state. On Aug. 29, 2017 he robbed the same exact location on Spring Hill Dr. Then on Sept. 6, he robbed another BB&T bank on the corner of West Venable St and U.S. 19 near Crystal River. Davis confessed to knowing about the robberies and admitted that he was supposed to receive some of the money. They are both from Alabama.

On Sept. 22, 2017, another bank robbery took place at the Capital City Bank located at 14001 Cortez Boulevard in Brooksville which led to a deputy-involved shooting of the suspect. Deputies spotted the suspect’s white Dodge Ram in an area behind Bayfront Health Brooksville. The driver, Scott Michael Chamberlain, was reported to possibly have a hostage. Once Chamberlain realized he had been spotted, he fled the scene and led deputies on a chase from Cortez Boulevard, to Cobb Road and then onto Fort Dade Ave, ramming several patrol vehicles in the process. Deputies attempted to use spike strips to stop the suspect, but he kept on, despite the damage to his tires. Eventually, Chamberlain turned onto U.S. 98, which merges into Broad St and his vehicle became inoperable just north of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.


Bullet casings marked on 41 after shooting of robbery suspect Michael Chamberlain, photo by Cheryl Clanton

This is when deputies attempted to engage the suspect. According to HCSO “During this encounter several deputies discharged their weapons. The suspect was transported from the scene to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead as a result of his injuries.” Shamere Baugh, the possible hostage, was safely removed from the truck by deputies and treated by fire rescue. Thankfully, no deputies were injured during the shooting or chase. Sheriff Al Nienhuis stated “All deputies who discharged their firearms have been placed on administrative leave as per standard policy. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is handling the investigation as per standard protocol. In deputy-involved shooting investigations, the FDLE works with the State Attorney’s Office to determine whether the use of force is justified. The HCSO will also investigate the incident internally to ensure agency policy and law enforcement best practices were followed.”