Armoured car murder suspect to be charged



A man brought in for questioning was expected to be charged overnight in connection with the robbery and slaying of two armored car guards, police said late Friday.

"It's over. We're done," said a detective who declined to give his name.

The suspect had been arrested in northeast Philadelphia on a warrant in another case but was questioned about the shooting, which occurred Thursday while the guards were servicing an ATM, police said.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, citing police sources, reported the suspect was a 36-year-old city resident with a history of bank robberies. He was not identified because he had not yet been charged.

"If he is the suspect that killed my husband, he hurt his own family too," said Donna Alullo, the widow of slain guard Joseph Alullo. "We hope that it is the suspect ... so that he is off the street and doesn't do it to anyone else."

Authorities had spent Friday fielding tips about the suspect, described as a black man with a beard in his early to mid-20s, and his getaway car, a new, dark-colored Acura TL Type-S. Police towed a car matching that description from the apartment complex where they made the arrest Friday afternoon.

The robber approached the armored car from behind Thursday morning outside a bank in northeast Philadelphia. He shot one guard in the chest, then went around the vehicle and shot the second guard as he tried to unholster his gun, police said. He shot toward a third guard inside the armored car, picked up a bag of deposits and fled.

Investigators on Friday still had not determined how much money the robber escaped with, but they believe he may have grabbed deposits - likely a mix of checks and cash.

One of the things that we're re-evaluating is the vest policy. Our objective is we want people to wear them.

Loomis spokesman Mark ClarkAs authorities searched for the robber, officials with the company that employed the guards, Loomis, were in the Philadelphia area meeting with employees and the guards' families. The company has about 190 total employees in the Philadelphia area, about half of them guards.

Neither of the slain guards was wearing a bulletproof vest.

Loomis does not require guards to wear the vests, which cost $350 to $700, but it encourages their use, spokesman Mark Clark said. The company pays for part of the cost of the vests and offers interest-free loans to employees for the rest.

"One of the things that we're re-evaluating is the vest policy," Clark said. "Our objective is we want people to wear them."

Surveillance tape from the Wachovia bank's security camera and another northeast Philadelphia business showed the robber getting out of his car and putting on gloves before killing William Widmaier, 65, and Joseph Alullo, 54, according to police. Both were retired Philadelphia police officers.

Police released cropped still frames from the bank surveillance tape that show a man wearing a yellow baseball cap and bright yellow or orange gloves pointing a handgun toward the front of the ATM.

Widmaier, a city police officer from 1966 to 1989, and Alullo, who served on the force from 1973 to 2000, were assigned to the same district, where they became friends, police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson said.

Widmaier was shot once in the chest, and Alullo was shot three times in the chest and abdomen, police said.

The third guard was grazed by shattered glass as the robber tried to shoot through the armored car. That guard was treated at a hospital for lacerations and released.

Widmaier, married with adult children, was the union shop steward for the Pennsauken, N.J., based division of Loomis, where the men worked. Alullo was married with three daughters.

A message left with a union official was not immediately returned Friday.

Family members of one of the victims met with Johnson at the crime scene on Friday.

Posted by KO

The Associated Press and CBS News contributed to this report.