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Columbus officer fatally shot during bank robbery

COLUMBUS, Ohio - A police officer working security at a bank was shot and killed Thursday during a robbery attempt, and the doors at 10 schools were locked during the search for the suspect, authorities said.

Witnesses inside the bank told police that the suspect announced his intention to rob the bank before exchanging gunshots with Officer Bryan Hurst about 10:45 a.m., said Sgt. Brent Mull, a police spokesman.

Hurst, 33, died later at Grant Medical Center, police said.

Mull said the suspect also was shot and police followed a blood trail to an apartment complex, where they searched for the gunman.

Police spokeswoman Sherry Mercurio said she did not know if the suspect got away with money.

No one was allowed to enter or leave two high schools, two middle schools and six elementary schools in the area of the search, said Columbus schools spokesman Greg Viebranz.

All the students were sent home on time. Police provided extra security for the school buses, district spokesman Andrew Marcelain said.

Parents whose children walk to the elementary school closest to the bank were given the choice of picking up their kids, having them walk home, or keeping them at school until they could get there. Marcelain said fewer than 10 students regularly walk to Olde Orchard Alternative Elementary School.

Hurst, an eight-year department veteran, was working a detail called "special duty," in which a bank hires an off-duty officer to provide security while wearing his police uniform, Mercurio said.
 
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