First State Bank in the Nashville suburb of Gallatin was held up by a man who wore a green costume and carried a large-caliber gun at 12:28 p.m. Wednesday, said Sgt. Bill Storment, a spokesman for the Gallatin Police Department.
Sharon Riehemann, manager of the Fifth Third Bank next door, said the costumed man - wearing a green top hat, vest and shorts and a fake brown beard and wig - had come into her bank a few minutes before the robbery. The lobby was crowded with lunchtime customers.
"He started to come in, then looked at his watch, then turned around and left," she said. She didn't see a weapon or anyone with him.
He walked toward the other bank, and then a couple of minutes later he ran out of the bank with a blue bag in his hands, Riehemann said.
Police said two men were in the car that sped away, and they fired at police during the chase, disabling one police car. Storment said the two ditched their vehicle and ran into a field near a subdivision. They were killed while exchanging fire with officers, he said.
No officers were injured, and money was recovered from the suspects' vehicle, he said. Police wouldn't say how much money was taken from the bank. There were no injuries at the bank.
Storment said police are still trying to identify the two men. The officers involved in the shooting are on administrative duty while the investigation continues.
The case was reminiscent of the Dec. 22 robbery in Nashville when a man dressed in a Santa suit - including hat, beard and mustache - held up a SunTrust Bank, demanding money from the teller at gunpoint. No arrests have been made in that case.