Alleged bank robber shot dead in Lancaster

A man suspected of robbing a bank in Saugus was shot and killed by deputies in the 45000 Block of Desert Springs Drive in Lancaster. Photo by LUIS MEZA.

LANCASTER – An armed man who allegedly robbed a bank in Saugus Friday morning was shot and killed by deputies after a high speed chase that ended on a dead end street in Lancaster.

The man, whose name and age have not been released, was shot multiple times on live television as he sat in a Chevy Suburban in the 45900 block of Desert Springs Drive.

“They did verbal commands, they deployed less lethal weapons, at which point he still brandished the gun at deputies,” said Sheriff’s Spokeswoman Nicole Nishida. “They feared for their lives and the deputy-involved shooting did occur.”

Television news helicopter footage shows the man’s vehicle surrounded by more than five patrol cars, before what appears to be a bullet trail comes from inside the vehicle and punctures the front windshield. Immediately after, the man’s vehicle is sprayed with bullets from surrounding deputies.

“We heard a whole bunch of gunshots, we just kept hearing gunshots and more gunshots, and they were telling us to move back,” said Lysa Webb, who lives around the corner from where the shooting occurred.

Webb said she heard two gunshots, which were followed by more than 15 gunshots in rapid succession.

“They could have done anything else besides shooting inside the car like that,” Webb said. “They could have shot a smoke bomb in there, and then he would have got out the car, and then they could have tasered him.”

Sheriff’s officials said the incident began about an hour earlier, around 9:13 a.m. Friday, when the man robbed a Bank of America in the 26800 Block of North Bouquet Canyon Road in Saugus.

“He brandished a gun to the bank teller and left with an undisclosed amount of money,” Nishida said. “At that point he left the bank, and Santa Clarita Sheriff’s deputies went in pursuit of him.”

Sheriff’s officials said traffic on the 14 Freeway was light during the pursuit, and no deputies are drivers were injured during the chase. Photo by LUIS MEZA.

The high speed chase went through Agua Dulce and onto the 14 Freeway from Escondido Canyon Road. Traffic on the freeway was light around that time, and no deputies or other drivers were injured during the chase, Nishida said.

The chase continued for more than 30 miles into Lancaster, where the man exited on Avenue H, after Lancaster Sheriff’s Station deputies laid down spike strips along the freeway that punctured the tires on the man’s SUV.

The man headed eastbound on Avenue H before turning south onto 10th Street West. He then turned into the residential neighborhood, where he was boxed in on Desert Springs Drive.

Residents in the neighborhood said the man was tossing what appeared to be money out of the vehicle as he rode through the neighborhood. When the vehicle stopped and was cornered, the man got out of the vehicle and then went back into the vehicle right before the shooting, residents said.

“He went back inside, he was still not complying with the deputies’ verbal commands, and he pointed a weapon,” Nishida said, adding that deputies tried less lethal methods, including stun bags, to subdue the man.

“They did everything to make sure that a deputy-involved shooting did not occur, unfortunately the suspect is deceased,” Nishida said.

As of 10 p.m. Friday, the man’s identity was not being released, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office. Deputies said he is an adult White male, and published reports indicate that the man is an Agua Dulce resident.

UPDATED 11/11/12: Detectives have identified the suspect as 60-year-old Steven Bowman. He was a resident of Agua Dulce.

(View television news footage of the moment when the man was shot below (which one of our readers directed us to on the Internet.)

  63 comments for “Alleged bank robber shot dead in Lancaster

  1. November 13, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    And the dead man was white/anglo. I was amazed to hear this reported on the local channel 3 news. This is so wrong, robbing a bank, making police chase you then try to shoot the police. Obvious suicide by cop. I’m angered that the victim drove to Lancaster to die. Too many innocent bystanders. R.I.P. that’s all I can say. Next thief please die in your own neighborhood!

  2. New2AV
    November 13, 2012 at 8:51 am

    One less. Good shooting.

  3. desertdweller
    November 11, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    First, it’s amazing how people will stand in judgement and speculate about a complete stranger…I understand there are really bad people out there, who are bent on evil…at any cost.
    What this man did was wrong, and he made bad choices from the moment he set out to carry out whatever plan he had, if he did have a plan.
    I feel bad for every sheriff out there that day, that had to do their job in those moments, I feel sad for this man’s 2 sons (one who is a cop) and their wives and children who have to remember this incident and wonder if they could have or should have done more for him, I feel sad for all the friends and family that have to wonder if they could have done more, even if they couldn’t have….this wasn’t a harden criminal, this was man who had lost just about everything, was alone, and no doubt lonely, grieving for the woman he loved for 39 years, and had lost 22 mths. ago…sons he loved didn’t live close…. maybe were unaware of the bankruptcy he had filed for? who knows?…maybe he was telling them he was fine…you can read about his family here in his wife’s tribute page… if you care to….

    These times are hard, people…there are walking wounded people all around us, trying to “just get by” not sure what move to make next, feeling alone, and unsure who to turn to…this could be anyone’s story, anyone’s neighbor, anyone’s friend, anyone’s family member, anyone’s father….hurting more then they can bear and and no one knows it…what he did was wrong, and he paid the ultimate price for his choices, but maybe in his mind he just didn’t care anymore.
    This is tragedy in it’s darkest hour…all of us have made bad choices, just not as fatal as his choice was…I feel sad for his family who now has to live with that choice, plan a funeral, and try to make sense of this horrible incident. Ask anyone who knew Steven Bowman and I’m certain (and I don’t know him) they would tell you they can’t believe he could do this…just like all of us don’t believe our friends and family could do something like this…but don’t bet on it…life is fragile,and these days things are really hard, and you never know what could send someone over the edge….Prayers for Steven’s family will be said in our home this night…I hope you will utter one on their behalf too.

    • Yo Mama
      November 11, 2012 at 5:57 pm

      My point exactly; minus 300 words…

    • Raptorman
      November 11, 2012 at 6:32 pm

      This is known as “Suicide by Cop” and the saddest part is there are now officers who have to deal with the death of a troubled man.

      • desertdweller
        December 3, 2012 at 5:57 pm

        As I said…it’s a sad situation all around…I feel bad for everyone…I’m only glad he didn’t hurt anyone else…

    • sikntired
      November 11, 2012 at 7:19 pm

      You didn’t need to post that poor woman’s obit here.

      • J. Ripper
        November 13, 2012 at 11:53 am

        Disagree with sikntired, thanks desertdweller for posting her obit. It gives insight into what Steven went through and lost.

        • sikntired
          November 13, 2012 at 2:34 pm

          Who cares what he went through, why should his family be sullied by his actions.Have enough respect for a deceased woman to leave her out of it.He could have killed someone, he made bad decisions.

      • desertdweller
        December 3, 2012 at 5:56 pm

        Clearly you haven’t lost someone you dearly loved…when people love someone, and they die, so many people out there believe it’s bad to bring it up to “remind” them…truth is, not a day goes by that they aren’t thinking about it….I didn’t do anything disrespectful by mentioning it…it was there to allow people to see a different side of Steve Bowman….you didn’t have to visit it if you didn’t want to…the public needs to learn about grieving and how people suffer from the fallout…so do you…but you will, one day….no one escapes grief…eventually it touches all our lives…and we hope no one forgets our loved ones when happens to us.

    • Otto
      November 11, 2012 at 10:49 pm

      No excuse for shooting at cops…sorry.

      • J. Ripper
        November 13, 2012 at 11:54 am

        What if he was intentionally shooting not to hit them, but so he would get his suicide by cop?

        • Otto
          November 13, 2012 at 9:23 pm

          Just as bad….pointing a hand gun in their general direction at that distance is exactly the same. Probably the same odds of hitting them whether he aimed or not. Not to mention the fact that he’s in a residential area with, no doubt, a lot of innocent people around. No excuse for him.

    • New2AV
      November 13, 2012 at 12:06 pm

      Everyone falls on tough times at some point in their life. You handle it like a man. You don’t endager peoples lives like he did. High speed chases are fun to watch on Real TV but he could of killed a person or multiple people with his actions. All respect for him as a person is gone the minute he decides his pathetic life is worth more than others because he failed to deal with his choices. Once again someone has to get on this forum and victimize the criminal. You sympathetic losers are unreal with your crap.

      • desertdweller
        December 3, 2012 at 6:04 pm

        I didn’t victimize the guy….high speed chases are never fun to watch…they are scary and very real…what he did was wrong…and thankfully no one else was hurt….it appears you don’t have a clue about what empathy is…I never defended him…I simply stated the truth…the is no need for name calling. What “could have…” really makes no difference after the fact…what did happen is what is important…

  4. Michael Rives
    November 11, 2012 at 11:26 am

    I don’t know if it is still true, but when I spoke to some “Bobbies” 4(cops) in England in 2004, they did not carry weapons, but called a special weapons unit if firearms were required like we call the SWAT in during situations. Luckily, the deputies did not kill any innocent people since cops are notoriously bad shots hence that is why all the fire power was dished out. They figured one shot out of 30 ought to hit the target. Anyway, with all of the black and white chasing the suspect, it looked like the keystone cops. Anyone ever hear of LEAP (Lancaster’s plane) or Air Support that the sheriff has? By the way, where was LEAP?

    • CaptainObvious
      November 11, 2012 at 2:39 pm

      @Michael Rives: that post is quite possibly the most ignorant you’ve ever submitted here. Its no wonder you lost whatever election you ran in recently. You have NO common sense. I would be scared to death to see you in charge of anything, anywhere. Where do I begin? Bobbies from England? Are you serious? In this Valley/state/country? It’s not even comparable. Call a SWAT team? OK, so when do you suggest our deputies would have done that in this case? When the guy was done firing at them? Maybe they should’ve retreated and let the guy shoot up the neighborhood, run into an innocent victim’s home? Or let his vehicle drive away again. Yes, law enforcement in general have a rep for firing many rounds and hitting only a few. I’m not a gun expert, but I’m going to guess that if some idiot is firing at me, I’m going to probably pi$$ my pants, fire back, and no, its probably not going to be real accurate. Our cops aren’t getting paid to “tie” in a fight, or just barely win, they are getting paid to win these battles and go home at the end of the shift! Additionally, you whined about so many cops looking like the ‘keystone cops.” Again,you are very ignorant. If this guy had jumped from his SUV and run into the surrounding neighborhood, they would have needed every one of those deputies to surround that neighborhood and capture him. The residents would’ve expected nothing less. How many does that require Rives. Oh, that’s right, you don’t know. Most of those deputies were from the Santa Clarita area, and would have had limited knowledge of the neighborhood had this occurred. You mentioned LEAPS. Sure, LEAPS could have followed this guy from the air. But at some point, he will stop. Then what Rives? This may shock you and your type, but there are bad guys in this world. Occasionally, those bad guys have to be confronted face to face, NOW. Many times, there’s no time for the hugs, the programs, the counselors, the rehab, and all the other crap you libs want done while some psycho is threatening innocent lives. We can only guess if or why this guy’s problems at home led him to these actions, but he chose this outcome. Thank you LASD!

    • ...
      November 11, 2012 at 4:48 pm

      I agree with Captain Obvious.. Michael this has to be one of the stupidest posts you’ve made. But I’m sure you’ll show up at the next council meeting and complain about this incident.

      Sure, lots of shots were fired, and it looks very dramatic on TV. How many deputies were there? 12 or so? When you have 12 deputies who are in immediate danger for their lives because some low-life is pointing a gun at you, or has already fired, you fire back. You don’t call all 12 deputies to the side for a quick huddle to decice which one of them is going to be the designated shooter. They all fire at the same time. The restraint is that they didn’t continue to fire after the guy was neutralized. I would have pumped lead into his ass until I had no more ammo (which is why I’d never be able to be a cop).

      Good for them!

    • Yo Mama
      November 11, 2012 at 6:01 pm

      Wow. Not real bright. In fact, really stupid. Nice work, Mike.

    • sikntired
      November 11, 2012 at 7:15 pm

      After the fact everyone ‘s a critic.

  5. Yo Mama
    November 10, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    Get used to it, folks. Situations just like this will start playin out a whole lot more as soon as all the taxes to pay for all this frickin welfare, this idiot of a president we have started, kicks in. Employers doin lay offs all over already in the coal industry & medical manufacturing industry; makin full-time employees part-time so they don’t have to pay the fines this idiot’s gonna start chargin for these welfare recipients! Yeah, cuz there’s no fine for the amount of part-time employees an employer has. Isn’t that nifty? We’re all gonna start seein & feelin this real soon. Americans across the fruited plains will be losin part, if not all, of their incomes, and snap! Just like this cat did.

    Here we go!!!

  6. TheTruthHurts
    November 10, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Great job LASD!
    “They could have done anything else besides shooting inside the car like that,” Webb said. “They could have shot a smoke bomb in there, and then he would have got out the car, and then they could have tasered him.” Lysa Webb, you are one of the dumbest MF’ers in this Valley!!!
    Thank god the dead guy doesn’t appear to be black. We’d have TCAL, NAACP, Darren Parker, V. Jesse Whateverthehellhisnameis, and all the rest up here claiming that even though the robber refused deputies’ orders, then fired at deputies,the shooting was still racial. Thanks again LASD for handling business.

    • George
      November 10, 2012 at 4:51 pm

      You are a dumb mother efer!!!! If you were not there or know facts, don’t speculate. It sounds like you are a young and naive individual… Hope to god you or any of your family/relatives or anyone else goes through that type of unfortunate event. At times of desperation/trouble/depression even a normal human being’s mind can go out of tune…

      • George
        November 10, 2012 at 4:54 pm

        Read that the registered owner of vehicle had recently gotten a divorce and filed for bankruptcy…

        • sikntired
          November 10, 2012 at 5:20 pm

          He was from AquaDulce and his wife died last year ; guns found in the home but all legal.(av press)

      • Letlow
        November 10, 2012 at 9:07 pm

        This man was an attempted cop killer, yet you appear to be making excuses for the guy George. You and the paper in Santa Clarita.

        I don’t have a problem with people humanizing criminals. But the people who comment on this site seem to think that only the Black community humanizes and makes excuses for criminals. Hopefully, you have shown them that humanizing someone you know, who is caught up in a bad situation, is not limited to the black community.

        • Palmdale_Steve
          November 11, 2012 at 7:33 am


          I don’t know the man or his circumstances, but this smells like “suicide by cop”.

          The deputies did what they had to do to defend themselves, no question about it, but I doubt the shooting is one the deputies will be satisfied with as a job well done.

    • Otto
      November 10, 2012 at 9:05 pm

      HA HA….I’d like to see her approach the vehicle and deploy a “smoke bomb”…then approach the armed suspect and “taser him”. She should apply for a job with the LASD as a tactical instructor….HA HA.

    • Tyrus
      November 11, 2012 at 4:18 am

      You had your EBT, Eastside, Hood Rat, TCAL, NAACP, Go back to Compton comment all prepared, but wait “He’s not Black”. Yet sill, you find away.


      • Yo Mama
        November 11, 2012 at 8:52 am

        Facts are facts, Homey. So, yeah, a little surprised myself. What can I say? Before I read who the suspect was, I thought surely it was one of your people. But, SURPRISE! It wasn’t……….this time.

        Guilty as charged….

        • Tyrus
          November 11, 2012 at 10:14 am

          No worries Jo Mama, I understand, yo people are going through a bad spell. It happens. Hey, you can use the EBT, Section 8 comments on the baby abandonment story. They look pretty Ghetto.

          • Yo Mama
            November 11, 2012 at 5:48 pm

            Will do… HA! You’re killin me!

      • [Removed]
        November 11, 2012 at 3:23 pm

        Tyrus….I think the point is, I don’t see the white folk on here trying to justify this idiot’s behavior. Sorry about his problems at home, life, etc, but that doesn’t justify what he did. We are calling it as we see it, the guy tried to kill our cops, he needed to go! Truth is right on the mark, if homie was black we’d see even more idiots than have already spoken here.

        • Tyrus
          November 11, 2012 at 4:38 pm

          Gus,the “homies” weren’t there, soooo why event bring them up? This is all on your community. The point is, I don’t make all inclusive comments. I don’t blame you or people like you for this guys actions. I only respond when someone says something stupid. Which brings be to your screen name, you continue to try to getaway with a racial slur in your screen name. Crackherpleez!

    • AV Town Crier
      November 11, 2012 at 8:55 am

      You don’t bring a knife to a gun fight. The suspect had a gun and was threatening deputies. You don’t answer deadly force with less than lethal. Had the taser not have took hold (which happens more times than you would believe) the suspect then could have shot at deputies. You also had occupied homes right there and the suspect could have fired into one of them or ran into one and taken hostages.

      The fact of the matter is the suspect fired first. End of story. The LASD did a good job protecting us and when all the investigations are completed you will see that this was a text book shooting.

    • Yo Mama
      November 11, 2012 at 8:56 am

      Here, here!!

  7. Palmdale_Steve
    November 10, 2012 at 8:30 am

    KCAL9′s Juan Fernandez said neighbors of the suspect identified him as Steven Bowman of Agua Dulce.

  8. Yayy
    November 9, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Yayy for LASD. They did a stellar job. Saved the county untold thousands maybe millions in court costs and jail costs. A little bit of ammo used in a positive way. And yes, we were watching it on TV and the perp fired FIRST. Too bad some of the “witnesses” interviewed on TV said they heard 2 sheriffs shots then 15 more sheriffs shots when in fact what they heard were 2 shots from the perp and the remaining from the sheriffs. But in the witness eyes the sheriffs are always at fault. I don’t think so this time!!

  9. Pissed Off Black Woman!
    November 9, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    I’m so sick of the media finding the most stupid ignorant black people to interview and make us all look that way! like the stupid [removed] they interviewed who was saying she was going to run over and get the money that the robber threw out! stupid, stupid, stupid and we all look ignorant thanks to her dumb ass! [removed] keep your mouth shut!

    • Otto
      November 9, 2012 at 6:30 pm

      That’s a great point. I saw that interview as well. Rest assured, there are some dumb-ass white people out there too (including the dearly departed suspect)….but the media shouldn’t put morons on the air.

      • November 10, 2012 at 12:10 pm

        I agree with “POBW”. During the interview “Otto” mentioned, a woman tells KCAL 9 “the cops had no choice. The man pointed his gun at the cops, then the cops ‘lit him up'”. Then, when the same woman was interviewed by Channel 3, she said “the cops acted wrong. It’s a shame they killed him while he was sitting in his car. I feel bad for his family’s loss and the way the cops handled it.” I can only wonder if TCAL got ahold of this woman between interviews and “explained” to her what she really witnessed. As far as the “run over and get the money” hood rat, she seems to be the “new normal” of the young, LA-transplanted AA community.

        • Tyrus
          November 11, 2012 at 4:33 am

          Attempted COP KILLER shot to death by deputies and you’re talking about TCAL. Was this guy from Compton or Eastside Palmdale? Did he use his EBT card to fuel the getaway SUV?

          • Palmdale_Steve
            November 11, 2012 at 7:24 am

            Actually the robber was Steven Bowman of Agua Dulce. A grown man with adult children, and I think grand children, who’s wife of many years had died about a year ago.

            I know nothing about Bowman, but something is strange here, could this be something else but a strait robbery?

    • Ana
      November 10, 2012 at 1:36 pm

      Does anybody know if theirs any footage on youtube or somewhere else of the news interviews? If so can you please post the link? Thank you.

  10. Frank Rizzo
    November 9, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    I love happy endings!

  11. Wylda Rose
    November 9, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Just saw on the news that an Agua Dulce home is being checked out in relationship to this.

  12. TS
    November 9, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Well if your going to get shot by Cops might as well come to the AV,,,thats one thing they do best.

    • Otto
      November 9, 2012 at 4:55 pm

      YEP…and it’s a good thing! Nice shooting!

  13. Sedrick
    November 9, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Now that’s what I call GUN CONTROL; hitting what you aim at.

    • ...
      November 9, 2012 at 4:42 pm

      haha, good one.

      “alleged bank robber” is now “allegedly dead”. Or, you might say he’s been rehabilitated, because he’ll never rob a bank again :)

      • Palmdale_Steve
        November 9, 2012 at 4:55 pm

        Approaching “room temperature” robber, well that’s actually not correct, down at the corners they keep them cool.

      • Sedrick
        November 9, 2012 at 5:12 pm

        Rehabilitated by being ventilated…:))

  14. Otto
    November 9, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Wow…now that’s entertainment! Happy ending all around. Can’t wait for the family members to start with their “he was misunderstood” B.S.!! HA HA. The only thing that disappoints me is that the camera always pulls out when the shooting starts. I say ZOOM IN so we can see the perp bite the dust!!

    • Elizabeth
      November 10, 2012 at 1:51 pm

      I can guarantee you the family won’t say that..

  15. Palmdale_Steve
    November 9, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Wow…and the TV coverage was something else.

    • sikntired
      November 9, 2012 at 5:58 pm

      Reminiscent of the end of Bonnie and Clyde.

  16. Letlow
    November 9, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    It’s great that this shooting was caught on tape, because I believe you are right. You can actually see a bullet coming from the guy first. This puts to rest any questions people may have about why the deputies shot this man down. So unfortunate though… that someone is killed for stealing some money.

    I would like to know if the bank robber is from the AV. If so, the folks in Santa Clarita must be mad that trash from the AV is coming down to terrorize their community.

    • Matt K.
      November 9, 2012 at 3:24 pm

      Trash from the A.V. has been “terrorizing” Santa Clarita for quite a while now.

      When I lived down there in 2006 and 2007, there were bulletins constantly being put out by the LASD-SCV office telling parents to talk to their kids about not showing their iPhones in public because they had reports of thugs stealing kids’ iPhones on their way home from school. It turned out that most of the thugs who were stealing iPhones were from Lancaster and Palmdale and they would drive down there and prey on kids walking home from school in the afternoon. I always thought it was amazing that the thugs couldn’t get a job, but had the time and gas money to drive 30 miles to terrorize kids walking home from school.

      Santa Clarita people, unfortunately, are trapped between the tagging crews in the San Fernando Valley and the ghetto thugs in the Antelope Valley. They know this and that’s why they tend to be more conservative and Republican.

      • avresident
        November 9, 2012 at 6:52 pm

        Don’t fotget Matt, plenty of those thugs here, came from the SF Valley, not just South Cenral. Must be the “trickle up” theory ….. in more ways than one.

      • Chris
        November 9, 2012 at 7:14 pm

        Santa Clarita has its own trash located right there in Newhall and Saugus. Those areas are crawling with undesirables. This guy actually has connections with Agua Dulce. The lowlives that came up here are from the SFV.

    • Otto
      November 9, 2012 at 6:01 pm

      Why is it unfortunate?? It’s great entertainment, AND another piece of trash vaporized!! It’s a win-win!

  17. Manny
    November 9, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    What was he thinking? You can clearly see the guy in the suburban raise his arm pointing something toward the cops, and a split second later you are able to see when he fires a shot because the windshield explodes outward toward the cops. Then the cops return fire. Good riddance. People like that don’t belong in society

    • sikntired
      November 9, 2012 at 5:56 pm

      Suicide by cop maybe –

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