Police: Alleged bank robber said he wanted to die

Suspect makes first appearance; court documents shed light on case

By Laura McVicker, Columbian staff writer

Published:

Updated: December 6, 2011, 6:33 PM

 

The suspect in a robbery of a Vancouver Wells Fargo said he held up the bank to “get in a shootout with police,” according to court documents available Tuesday.

“I don’t want to live anymore,” he reportedly told a Vancouver police investigator following the robbery.

Stephen A. Lubeck, 19, of Vancouver survived being shot in the upper leg by a police officer. Escorted in a wheelchair by two custody officers, Lubeck made his first appearance Tuesday morning in Clark County Superior Court.

Judge John Wulle set bail at $500,000. Lubeck is being held in jail on suspicion of first-degree robbery, first-degree assault and first-degree kidnapping.

Defense attorney Robert Vukanovich was appointed to represent him. Lubeck will be arraigned Dec. 16.

According to court documents filed Tuesday morning, Lubeck allegedly began thinking about committing a robbery about a month in advance as a suicide plot. The night before, he purchased a BB gun at a Walmart and allegedly carried it with him, unloaded, to the bank.

After entering the branch at 8211 N.E. Vancouver Mall Drive the afternoon of Dec. 1, Lubeck allegedly pointed the gun at patrons and ordered them from the building. Then, he ushered two bank employees into the bank vault. He escaped with $300,000, Deputy Prosecutor Mike Dodds told the judge.

In an interview at the hospital, Lubeck told an investigator that after he heard the police sirens, “he initially ran south from the bank … ‘I wanted him to take me out,’ ” he said, according to a probable cause affidavit by Vancouver police Detective Wally Stefan.

He ran behind the nearby Ross Dress for Less store. When confronted by Vancouver police Officer Jeffrey Anaya, Lubeck allegedly pointed the gun — believed at that point to be a semiautomatic pistol — and told Anaya to shoot him or he would shoot in five seconds, investigators said.

Anaya fired his gun, hitting Lubeck in the upper leg. One of the multiple rounds hit and shattered the back window of the officer’s patrol car, which was parked in the area, an investigator said.

Lubeck was rushed to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, where he was hospitalized for several days before being booked in the Clark County Jail on Monday.

Anaya was placed on paid leave, pending the outcome of an investigation, which is standard after police shootings.

Lubeck told an investigator he was upset that police didn’t kill him. “ ‘I didn’t do it for the money,’ ” Lubeck stated. “ ‘I still want to die,’ ” according to Stefan’s affidavit.