Armed robbery can escalate quickly, endangering all involved. This was put on full display after a seasoned bank robber went after the ultimate score — robbing a casino. The incredible footage was captured Friday night when the suspected robber was noticed by four cops on bikes outside the casino and a shootout ensued.
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At 9:45 p.m. Michael Charles Cohen was leaving the Bellagio in Las Vegas having just robbed the poker cage. The 49-year-old planned his getaway in a white car but quickly changed his mind after he had trouble finding the keys to the vehicle.
Panicking, Cohen tried to carjack a woman in a black Mercedes, an action that caught the attention of four officers on bikes outside the casino. When approached, Cohen grabbed his firearm and shot at one of the officers, striking him in the chest of his vest.
One of the officers returned fire and shot Cohen in the head. He was pronounced dead at the scene. “This could have been very tragic for our officers, as well as citizens within our community, or that lady who was in that car,” Charles Hank, Assistant Sheriff, said after the shooting. “Imagine had someone been in the other car, it could have been an unfortunate event.”
This isn’t the first time Cohen has been linked to elaborate robberies. Las Vegas police also suspect he was the culprit in the 2017 Bellagio robbery. Cohen was a career criminal according to his rap sheet, showing arrests for bank robbery, kidnapping, carjacking, possession of narcotics paraphernalia, possession of stolen property as well as other smaller charges.
According to the Daily Mail, many of the patrons inside the casino weren’t even aware of the shooting or the robbery. The officer who was shot survived as his bulletproof vest caught the bullet. “The officer had his bulletproof vest on, which probably saved his life,” Capt. Nichole Splinter of the Las Vegas Police Department said.
It was speculated that Cohen had had this planned for quite some time. What he wasn’t expecting was an increased number of officers who were out investigating an unrelated missing child case.