Judy Guin, a longtime employee of the FMBank Mantachie branch, was killed in the Wednesday morning robbery attempt.
UPDATED 6/22/17, 12:15 p.m.:
FROM THE ITAWAMBA COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT:
Yesterday morning, Ashlee Smith, entered Farmers and Merchants Bank located in Mantachie, MS. She entered the bank with her gun drawn and approached two employees telling them to open the vault. Ashlee Smith was following one of the employees to the back when she stopped, raised her gun, and shot the other employee in the bank. Ashlee Smith then went to the back of the bank and exited through the back door. Her black tahoe was pulled over near Saltillo, Ms. As deputies approached her vehicle Ashlee Smith took her own life. All of the events were verified by eye witnesses and the banks video surveillance system. The bank employee who was killed has been identified as Judy Guin of Marietta, Ms.
Sheriff Chris Dickinson and all the employees of the Itawamba County Sheriff’s office would like to extended our condolonces to Ms. Judy’s family, friends and FMB employees. She was a fixture in the community and will be greatly missed.
SALTILLO – A Farmers & Merchants Bank teller was shot and killed during a Wednesday morning robbery attempt in Mantachie, and the suspect later died of a self-inflicted gunshot after being stopped by Saltillo police.
Judy Guin, 64, of Marietta, was shot and killed by the suspect during the robbery attempt, which was reported shortly after 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. The suspect, identified as Ashlee Blaine Smith, 28, of Pontotoc, was said to have entered the bank with her gun drawn. Itawamba County Coroner Shelia Summerford said Guin died from a single gunshot wound. Another teller was present at the time but was not shot or injured.
Smith then fled the scene in a black Chevrolet Tahoe, traveling north on Hwy. 363. When Smith was stopped by Saltillo police, she shot and killed herself as Saltillo police officers approached her vehicle.
Lee County Coroner Carolyn Green said Smith was believed to originally be from the Belden area, but had been staying with her grandmother in Pontotoc. Her body was being sent to Pearl for an autopsy to be performed on Thursday.
Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies were on both scenes well into the afternoon processing for evidence. It does not appear the suspect took anything from the bank, though details were not readily available by press time.
In a statement released Wednesday, FMBank President and CEO John Haynes expressed the shock and grief his employees are dealing with in the aftermath of the day’s events.
“Tragedy struck the Farmers and Merchants Bank family June 21, 2017, after the sudden death of Judy Guin, a dedicated employee since the branch opened almost 11 years ago, in an attempted bank robbery,” Haynes said. “The attempted robbery occurred early Wednesday at the Mantachie branch, located at the intersection of Hwys 363 and 371. We are devastated. We are a community bank with a very close-knit group of employees. This is the loss of one of our family members.”
Haynes said the Mantachie branch will be closed Thursday, June 22.
Guin was the wife of Ray Guin, pastor of Parker’s Chapel Baptist Church east of Baldwyn and the Pratts Community on Houston-Palestine Road in Itawamba County. The couple had one son.