UPDATE: Robbery suspect shot, killed by police in Niles

Published 7:33 am Saturday, May 3, 2014

Leader file photo

Leader file photo

The suspect in an armed robbery at a Niles fast food restaurant was shot and killed after a confrontation with police late Friday, according to the Niles Police Department.

At approximately 11:09 p.m. Friday, the Niles City Police Department received a call from a citizen who reported an armed robbery occurring at the Long John Silver’s restaurant (1015 S. 11th St.), according to a press release by Niles Police Chief Jim Millin.

Officers from the Niles City Police Department, Michigan State Police and Berrien County Sheriff’s Dept. responded to the business.

According to the release, once officers were positioned around the business three officers entered the restaurant through the front door.

As the officers made their way through the business, they confronted the suspect armed with a handgun near the back of the restaurant. As the officers approached the suspect, he exited out the back door at which time he engaged the officers positioned there, Millin wrote in the release.

Officers from the Niles City Police Department and Michigan State Police discharged their weapons, striking the suspect. The suspect was transported to an area hospital by Southwestern Michigan Community Ambulance Service where he died from his injuries.

Police identified the suspect as Eddie Macon Jr., 39, of Elkhart, Ind.

The suspect’s handgun and money from the business (undisclosed amount) were recovered at the scene.

The Michigan State Police Crime Lab and 5th District Headquarters are assisting in the investigation. The identities of the officers involved are not being released at this time.

The investigation is ongoing.

Ken Wisniewski, district manager of Long John Silver’s, said four employees were in the building at the time of the shooting.

Wisniewski said police told him that the suspect attempted to rob the restaurant around closing time, which is 11 p.m. on Fridays. The suspect, he said, forced three employees into a freezer and then made the store manager open a cash register.

At some point, Wisniewski said the store manager alerted her boyfriend, who was in the parking lot waiting to take her home.

“Somehow she signaled to him through the drive through or he saw something and he was smart and made the call,” Wisniewski said. “Police were there very quickly.”

Wisniewski said none of the employees were injured.

“It could’ve been a lot worse. We are just happy that they are all safe. That’s the most important thing,” said Wisniewski, who was not at the restaurant at the time of the incident.

The district manager said the restaurant hasn’t had any serious incidents before, just a small break-in several years ago.

“This has been a very safe location,” he said.