By Richard Weizel
MILFORD, Conn. (Reuters) - A suspected bank robber shot by police after a high-speed chase that spanned several Connecticut towns is in critical condition at a hospital in the state capital of Hartford, officials said Saturday.
Christopher Anderson, 53, crashed at a busy intersection in Bolton, near Hartford after an 11-mile pursuit that reached speeds of up to 80 miles per hour in a silver Toyota, spokespersons for the state police and the Manchester, Connecticut police said.
The three-town chase began after a South Windsor police officer noticed a suspect run from the First Niagara Bank branch late Friday afternoon, just as a robbery was being reported, police said.
The officer pursued the suspect into nearby Manchester, where several Manchester officers joined in the high-speed chase.
Following the crash, Anderson drove another 200 yards before his car became disabled, police said.
As officers approached, he jumped out of his car and tried to attack officers with a weapon believed to be a box cutter, State Trooper Kelly Grant, a spokeswoman for the state police, said in a statement.
"The suspect exited the vehicle, and approached the trooper and officers with a weapon displayed in his hand," Grant said. "The suspect was ordered to stop, however, continued to advance towards the trooper and officers."
Captain Christopher Davis of the Manchester, Connecticut Police Department, said at this point a Manchester police officer discharged his Taser, striking Anderson.
Anderson, unaffected, "continued to advance towards the trooper and officers with his weapon," Davis said.
Two officers - the trooper and a second Manchester Police officer - shot at Anderson, both striking him, according to both Davis and Grant.
Anderson sustained two gunshot wounds and was taken by Ambulance Service of Manchester to Hartford Hospital.
The two officers who fired at the suspect were taken to hospitals for evaluation, police said, and later released.
State Trooper Brian Contenta, a five year state police veteran, and Manchester Police Officer Layau Eulizier, in that department for one year, were identified by Grant as the officers who shot Anderson.
She said that in accordance with state police department policy, Contenta will be temporarily assigned to administrative duty pending completion of the investigation.
Grant declined to disclose or comment on the race or ethnicity of the suspect.
(Editing by Sharon Bernstein, Bernard Orr)