DOYLESTOWN — A Lansdale man is facing a long list of charges in Bucks County after allegedly robbing a bank in Perkasie, then trying to shoot at a state trooper pursuing him.

"This trooper literally came face to face with his would-be killer, and overcame the defendant in a battle for his own life," Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub said in an Oct. 20 statement.

"I thank God that he and the bank employees were not harmed. They all got home safely to their families today. This is a shining yet terrible example of the risk that our police officers willingly place themselves in to protect us every day."

Christopher Edward LaRue, 42, of Lansdale has been charged with 16 offenses including second-degree attempted murder, robbery, firearms possession and aggravated assault, the Bucks County District Attorney's office said Tuesday.

According to the DA's office, officers were called to the QNB Bank branch at 607 West Chestnut Street in Perkasie around 8:20 a.m. Monday for a reported holdup, which was then upgraded to a bank robbery in progress. The robber took two cash drawers from a safe and produced a handgun, according to the criminal complaint against LaRue, and tried to lock employees inside a safe before leaving, but was unable to do so and fled.

The suspect was described to police at the time as a white male, five-feet-six to seven inches tall, wearing a dark ski mask with a hood covering his head and black boots. During the robbery, the suspect took the employee's phones and had them open the bank's safe, took two cash drawers from a safe and cash from a teller drawer, and at one point produced a small gray handgun and said he did not want to hurt anyone, according to the complaint.

Less than an hour after the reported robbery, just after 9 a.m., state police learned "through enhanced investigative means" that a currency bag had been found inside a mobile work trailer at a business in Upper Merion. A trooper entered the trailer and made contact with LaRue, whom the trooper said was "visibly upset" and who had placed a backpack "consistent with the backpack used during the bank robbery" inside his locker in the trailer. 

The trooper than tried to handcuff the suspect, according to police, which began an altercation. LaRue allegedly retrieved a handgun, aimed it at the trooper, and said "Do you want to f------ die today?" before pulling the trigger. The gun did not fire, and the trooper was ultimately able to subdue LaRue and secure the firearm, according to the complaint.

Later investigation revealed that LaRue had been arrested by U.S. Marshals for a bank robbery in July 2008, and plead guilty the following year, an offense prohibiting him from owning a firearm. 

LaRue was arraigned by District Judge Lisa Gaier and is currently being held on $1 million bail, the DA's office said, while facing a long list of additional charges including unlawful firearms possession, theft, receiving stolen property, terroristic threats, unlawful restraint, possession of an instrument of crime, simple assault, reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct. The next scheduled court date for LaRue is a preliminary hearing in district court scheduled for Dec. 15, according to court records.

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