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Vail, CO Colorado

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November 23, 2009
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Neighbor: Colorado bank robbery couple pleasant, helpful

LOVELAND, Colorado - A man and woman killed in a police shootout after a bank robbery were described as helpful and pleasant by a neighbor.

Authorities identified the robbers killed Thursday as 35-year-old Christian Benshoof and 25-year-old Ashley Johnson. Adams County Coroner James Hibbard on Friday said Benshoof and Johnson were a couple living together in Loveland.

Neighbor Gina Blanton says she first met the couple 1 1/2 months ago when they gave a friend of hers a ride home. Johnson later cooked meals for Blanton after she severely injured her hand.

"It was very pleasant," Blanton said of the relationship with them.

Blanton described Benshoof as outgoing and willing to debate politics. She described Johnson as very sweet and intelligent and someone who enjoyed listening to religious sermons. Blanton says the couple never talked about money problems, but says Johnson was looking for a job.

Blanton also described the couple as loving. Two days before the bank robbery they said they were planning a short trip to El Paso, Texas.

Two police officers were wounded in the shootout suffered non-life threatening injuries. Westminster police Officer Sean Chandler was shot in the hip and hospitalized at St. Anthony Central where he was treated and released.

Deputy Chief Tim Carlson was grazed by a bullet and did not require hospitalization.

The FBI said the two robbers were not suspected of any other bank robberies.


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The VailDaily Updated Nov 23, 2009 12:39PM Published Nov 23, 2009 12:37PM Copyright 2009 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.