“Everything in that house will be ruined,” homeowner Marcus Shifflett said when police began shooting what appeared to be tear gas into a 6th Street Southeast home he rents to a tenant. “Furniture, clothes, everything.”
The Downtown Mall’s Union Bank and Trust was robbed January 4, and city spokesperson Miriam Dickler says police obtained a search warrant January 5 for a house located at 504 Sixth St. SE, a few blocks away from the bank, where the robber was allegedly staying. While police were on their way to the house, a 911 call came through for a report of domestic violence at the same address, she says.
When police arrived at the scene four out of five people were able to exit the house, but one refused and remained inside—the suspected bank robber later identified as Cole Franklin Nordick.
A number of city, county and university police blocked off the street and surrounded the entire area around 1:30pm. Police and city and county SWAT teams made telephone contact with Nordick and he threatened harm to anyone who tried to enter the home, police say. About two hours into the standoff, police began shooting tear gas into the 6th Street home. One bystander reported counting at least 12 shots, and more were fired afterward.
A police K9 on the scene rapidly wagged its tail and whimpered after some of the shots.
Bystanders gathered on a nearby sidewalk and cars slowed when they passed the commotion. At least five people had cell phones out, filming the action.
Around 4:25pm, Nordick emerged from the front door of the home, hands in the air and wearing a white T-shirt. He was arrested for armed bank robbery and taken to the Charlottesville Albemarle Regional Jail where he is being held without bond.
Nordick has arrest records dating back to 1996, with at least two charges for petit larceny, multiple probation violations and drug charges.
On his Facebook page, Nordick says he studied locksmithing at a trade school.
The city delayed school buses for nearby Clark Elementary School, as well as some buses from Walker, Buford Middle School and Charlottesville High.
During the standoff, Shifflett said he suspected Nordick was blockaded in the windowless bathroom where the gas wouldn’t reach him.
“I don’t know what [the tenants] are going to do tonight,” Shifflett says. “They’re going to have to find a home. They don’t have no place to go.”
UPDATED 1/6 at 9:30 with information identifying the suspect.