2 ATM customers stepped on the gas when an armed Coast teen approached. He didn’t get away.

A hapless 19 year old attempted to rob two customers at gunpoint at a bank ATM off Courthouse Road, but left without any money and wound up crashing through the ceiling of an office building where he was trying hide, court records say.

Gulfport police arrested Jayveon Leontae Palmore the morning of Nov. 1, charging him with two counts of armed robbery, two counts of burglary, aggravated assault and committing a crime while he had a stolen firearm.

In less than nine hours, Palmore attempted to rob at least two customers of Wells Fargo on Courthouse Road with a stolen .40-caliber handgun equipped with a green laser sight, court records say. The first customer reported his harrowing experience to Gulfport police at 11 p.m. Oct. 31.

The customer said he was sitting at the ATM when a man approached holding a handgun with a green laser sight and ordered the customer out of his car. The customer accelerated instead, prompting the gunman to shoot twice.

One bullet struck the windshield and a second lodged in the driver’s window frame, the police investigation determined.

A second customer had withdrawn money from the ATM at 7:20 a.m. Nov. 1 when a man believed to be Palmore approached and demanded money. This customer also drove away but no shots were fired.

Gulfport officers say they were investigating the armed robbery when they spotted a broken window in a building west of Wells Fargo on 29th Street. They discovered a crawl space and later determined Palmore had used it to reach an adjoining business, where he fell through the ceiling and hid in a storage closet.

Officers found Palmore in the closet, along with the gun and laser sight, and clothing that surveillance video showed the armed robber wearing, according to investigators.

Harrison County Prosecuting Attorney Herman Cox said Palmore has requested a preliminary hearing to determine whether enough evidence exists to send the case to a grand jury.

A Wells Fargo spokesman, Michael Gray, said in an email to the Sun Herald:

“Wells Fargo’s top concern is the safety and well-being of our customers and team members, and we are thankful no one was harmed during the incidents at our Courthouse Road branch in Gulfport. We are in frequent contact with local law enforcement and have security standards and procedures in place, though we cannot discuss them specifically, as doing so reduces their effectiveness.”

Anita Lee is a Mississippi native who specializes in investigative, court and government reporting. She has covered South Mississippi’s biggest stories in her decades at the Sun Herald, including the Dixie Mafia, public corruption and Hurricane Katrina, a Pulitzer Prize-winning effort. Nothing upsets her more than government secrecy and seeing people suffer.
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