Hwy 17 reopens in both directions after search for bank robbery suspect

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SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, Calif. (KTVU) -- Both directions of Highway 17 near Redwood Estates are back open Thursday night. The highway was shut down for most of the day following an intense manhunt for a robbery suspect who is still on the loose.

The southbound lanes at Bear Creek Road reopened around 8 p.m. The northbound lanes at Summit Road reopened shortly after. The manhunt began around 11 a.m. when sheriff deputies said a man, wearing all black, robbed a Bank of America in Scotts Valley.

He sped away in a White Chrysler onto Highway 17 toward San Jose leading them on a chase, before crashing.

"There was an officer involved shooting by a Scotts Valley Police officer," said Sgt. Richard Glennon from the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office. It's unknown at this time how many rounds were dischaged. We have no reports of any injuries to any officers."

The suspect then ran into the woods. It's unclear if he was hit. Law enforcement shut down the highway.

"Yeah i saw him run across and hope over there," said Anissa & Anindal who were witnesses. "I just saw him wearing something, completely black outfit and just ran. I didn't see his face but he had on a black outfit."

Skyfox captured the traffic mess backed up for miles. Some motorists were stuck with no food, water or bathroom access.

"All that happened in front of me," said Witness Janet Smith. "It's hard to explain because I was pretty shocked. That's exactly how it went down. I live in a pretty peaceful area. It's very quiet. and I'm not happy to be in this car for over three hours."

Authorities searched homes and backyards. A shelter in place was in effect at one point for residents living in Redwood Estates. Nearby schools were put on lock down, which has since been lifted.

The suspect was dressed al in black, wearing a face mask at the time of the robbery, and that's the challenge his identity was concealed. Police are working leads that will hopefully lead to his capture.