2004 Bismarck bank robbery
The 2004 Bismarck bank robbery occurred in the winter of 2004 when a heist team of four criminals (Michael Townley, Trevor Philips, Brad Snider, and Eddie Sulzer) robbed a small bank in Bismarck, North Dakota. The criminals blew open the vault and stole a large amount of cash, and they killed a bank guard when he held Townley at gunpoint. The criminals then found themselves ambushed by dozens of North Dakota Highway Patrol policemen who were prepared to kill or capture them, and Sulzer was killed while serving as the robbers' getaway driver. The robbers gunned down several policemen before fleeing to the other side of the railroad tracks acrss a frozen river, expecting for there to be a helicopter. FBI sniper Dave Norton mortally wounded Snider with a shot meant for Philips, and Townley was wounded by another shot. Philips proceeded to gun down dozens of policemen before taking a female hostage and fleeing into a snowstorm empty-handed. It later turned out that the ambush of the criminals had been organized by the FBI and Townley; Townley would cut his ties with the criminals in exchange for starting over with a mansion in Los Angeles and a five-figure salary each month, and Norton became known as a hero for "killing" the "Most Wanted Man in America", Michael Townley. Snider's death complicated matters, as the unstable Philips was left alive, and Philips would nearly kill Townley upon discovering his deceit ten years later.