Seattle man charged in shooting of bank guard

Man allegedly shot guard then turned gun on himself


July 30--A Seattle man was released from jail two days before he allegedly punched a bank security guard, wrestled away the guard's gun and shot the man at least twice before shooting himself in the face, according to prosecutors.

Arthur Idowu Thomas, 24, had spent nearly two months in the King County Jail after pleading guilty to fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation, jail and court records show. He was released July 22.

He has since been charged with first-degree assault with a firearm in connection with last week's bank shooting, and his bail was set at $500,000, according to court and jail records. Charging papers indicate Thomas lives about a mile south of the bank.

Just after 11 a.m. Thursday, Seattle police were called to the Bank of America branch at 2301 S. Jackson St., in Seattle's Central District, charging papers say.

Witnesses reported hearing a heated argument between the guard and Thomas, who previously had been removed from the building for trespassing, according to the charges. Two people who work in the building saw the guard on the ground, yelling for help, as Thomas repeatedly punched him before grabbing the guard's .38-caliber revolver from its holster and shooting the guard, who suffered gunshot wounds to his back and hand, the charges say.

After a brief pause, Thomas shot himself in the mouth, according to the charges. Both men were taken to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition, the charges say.

The 46-year-old guard was listed in satisfactory condition Tuesday, while Thomas was in the intensive-care unit in serious condition, according to a hospital spokeswoman. Charging papers say Thomas is under police guard.

While Thomas does not appear to have any felony convictions, he has several misdemeanor convictions -- including for assault and resisting arrest -- and has pending theft and criminal-trespass charges in Centralia, as well as third-degree theft, criminal-trespass and disorderly-conduct charges pending in Thurston County District Court for alleged crimes committed in April, according to charging papers.

Warrants were issued for Thomas' arrest in both cases for failure to appear in court, the papers say.

Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 or sgreen@seattletimes.com

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