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Auburn bank-robbery suspect shot by officers dies in hospital

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A bank robbery suspect shot by deputies Thursday in Colfax has died. The Placer County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement today reporting that Gregory Ray Deford was pronounced dead Thursday night at Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital. The release added an extensive investigation was taking place and no further information would be available at this time. Deford was shot by deputies following a vehicle pursuit ending in Colfax Thursday afternoon. Sheriff’s Office identified Deford, 46, of Weimar as the suspect in two recent bank robberies in North Auburn. Just before the pursuit, warrants had been signed for Deford’s arrest for robbing the Wells Fargo Bank in North Auburn on Aug. 28 and the Bank of the West on Lincoln Way on Sept. 10. When Sheriff’s detectives went to contact Deford in Weimar, he fled in his vehicle and a pursuit ensued. Deford refused to stop and a spike strip was deployed. All four tires were flattened but Deford got on eastbound Interstate 80. He exited at Canyon Way in Colfax where shortly after, he crashed his vehicle. As detectives and deputies attempted to take him into custody, Deford’s actions caused an officer to fire his weapon, hitting the suspect. He was airlifted to a local hospital and his condition is unknown at this time. In the Aug. 28 robbery, a man wearing a black knit cap and dark glasses to disguise his face walked into the North Auburn Wells Fargo Bank at about 1 p.m. He passed a note to a teller saying he had a bomb and fled with cash outside, where he escaped on a bicycle, riding north on Highway 49. Investigators allege that Deford struck again Sept. 10 at the Bank of the West on Lincoln Way in the Raley’s Center, passing a note that demanded cash. ~ Staff report