ANDOVER - The man who shot and killed himself in a standoff that shut down Route 495 in Andover Tuesday evening was a suspect in a string of bank robberies, police said Wednesday.
It started just after 7 p.m. when a State Trooper spotted a BMV that police had been looking for parked outside a bank in Methuen. The car had been linked to multiple bank robberies in southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
The man in the car, later identified as 49-year-old Anthony Miele of Quincy, drove away and the trooper followed him. State Police said they tried to pull him over, but he refused and took off down several streets before getting on Route 28 in Lawrence and later onto Route 495.
"At approximately 7:10 p.m., shortly after crossing into Andover on Route 495 the suspect pulled into the grass median, reversed direction of his car, and stopped. Troopers pulled up to the vehicle and observed the suspect, Miele, holding a handgun to his head," State Police spokesman Dave Procopio said in a statement Wednesday.
Negotiators tried for nearly two hours to get him to surrender.
"At one point, the suspect threw a ballistic vest and two firearm magazines out of the car, but maintained possession of the handgun inside the vehicle," Procopio said.
Just after 9 p.m. police say Miele shot himself. He was rushed to Lawrence General Hospital where he died about two hours later.
Police said Miele was believed to be responsible for bank robberies in Easton, Lincoln, Rhode Island and a failed attempted bank robbery in Norton earlier this week.
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