FBI: Suspected bank robber dies after house he was barricaded in catches fire

RISING SUN, Md. (WMAR) -

The FBI says the man wanted for robbing four banks in the Towson area is dead.

Agents tried using their violent crimes task for to execute an arrest warrant, but the suspect barricaded himself into a house in Rising Sun. Then the home caught fire, trapping him inside.

John Kohl’s supposed to be at work on Monday.

He makes a living under the hood of cars and getting them back on the road. He does it in his spare time too to help those who can’t afford his services.

RELATED: FBI offers $5,000 for Towson-area bank robber

“He was one of them that called me up for help. I didn’t know how bad his situation was. With a friend in need, I’d help anybody and I was trying to help him,” Kohl said.

But John’s generosity may have left him with no home.

His childhood friend, the man the FBI had been looking for for a string of bank robberies in Towson, was on the other end of the line asking for help with a motor scooter.

Little did John know, his old buddy was a wanted man.

“…just got hooked up in a lot of wrong things along the way, like it gets a lot of people, and he went down some wrong paths and God only knows why, but this is where the story ended up,” Kohl said.

But not before the FBI got ahold of John.

A task force moved in shortly after and surrounded his Rising Sun home where his old friend was staying.

The suspect barricaded himself inside and then smoke began to billow from the basement – turning into an eventual fire that killed him and leaving John to pick up the pieces.

“The thing we all hoped for was that he’d get help. The help he needed, you know, to set his life finally straight after all of this time, but he wasn’t going to have that and he didn’t make it easy for the officers,” Kohl said.

The Maryland Fire Marshal is investigating how this fire started here and as for Kohl, he’s going to move in with relatives, at least initially, until he gets everything figured out.

The name of the suspect will not be released until the next of kin is notified. 

Print this article Back to Top