Interview with Cpl. Ed Ritter. JOHN SPINK/JSPINK@AJC.COM

 Bank robbery suspect killed in Lawrenceville identified

A Gwinnett Police officer shot and killed a suspected bank robber Monday morning after the suspect pistol whipped him during a struggle behind a nearby church, officials said.

Witnesses told police that a suspected robber had fled from a Wells Fargo Bank near Lawrenceville and an officer tracked the suspect to Bethesda United Methodist Church, on Bethesda Church Road, according to Gwinnett police.

Police say the suspect struck the officer with what police believe was a handgun that had been used to rob the bank.

“The suspect apparently hit the officer over the head,” said Cpl. Ed Ritter. “The officer was then forced to shoot the suspect.”

The suspect was later identified as John Schneider, 24.

The injured officer, whose name was not released, was transported to the hospital and is expected to be OK, Ritter said.

Ritter said he had no information about how much money was taken from the bank. Police arrived shortly after the robbery occurred at the bank at 3065 Lawrenceville Highway.

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