Man who shot customer during 2016 Spokane bank robbery sentenced - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Man who shot customer during 2016 Spokane bank robbery sentenced

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

A 35-year-old Elma, Washington, man was sentenced to 18 years in prison for shooting a man during a bank robbery at a Spokane Wells Fargo in 2016. Don Charles Owen plead guilty to armed bank robbery and discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence in August.

According to information disclosed during court proceedings, Owens robbed a Wells Fargo in Spokane on April 28, 2016. He entered the bank shortly before 6 p.m. wearing a black ski mask and announced he was robbing the bank. Owens ordered the bank customers to the ground and demanded money from tellers, who followed his commands. As he was going to leave, a customer tried to stop Owens, and struggled with him. Owens pulled out a gun and shot the customer twice, then took off leaving behind the ski mask that the customer pulled off during the struggle.

Numerous law enforcement officers responded to the bank but found no sign of Owens. The FBI submitted the ski mask for DNA testing, and matched DNA found on the mask to Owens'. Eventually, Owens was tracked down and arrested in western Washington.

In a statement Wednesday, Joseph H. Harrington, acting US Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, commended the sentence handed down by Chief Judge Thomas O. Rice, saying it "sends a strong message."

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