A man wearing white scrubs, a white apron and a white mask walked into the UT Federal Credit Union in the University Center at approximately 11:26 a.m. Tuesday and demanded money before fleeing the scene out the Volunteer Boulevard entrance.
He was last seen headed east on Cumberland Avenue.
Marshall Stone, a supervisory special agent for the FBI, said the man entered the Credit Union, told the employees he had a bomb and asked for cash.
"He did place a package on the counter and say that it was a bomb," said FBI supervisory special agent Marshall Stone. "That was the means by which he demanded money."
The suspect left the package on the counter of the Credit Union, prompting UTPD to evacuate the building. The Knoxville Police Department bomb squad used a robot to examine the package.
After bomb squad members cleared the package and declared it a hoax device, the UC was reopened. The UT Federal Credit Union, however, remained under investigation at time of publication.
The FBI press release describes the suspect as a black male in his late 40's to early 50's, weighing between 180-190 pounds and standing around 6'1" tall.
He was wearing a black ball cap and one blue latex glove; anyone with information is asked to call the Knoxville FBI at 865-544-0751.
Witnesses Speak Up
"All of a sudden, there was this guy running towards the door wearing all white," said UC post office worker Michael Turko, senior in architecture. "He was trying to get out."
Turko, who said the UT alert perfectly described the man he saw, indicated that the evacuation process began within thirty minutes of the suspect's escape. He did not remember if the suspect was carrying anything.
Senior in mechanical engineering Kolby Hamilton also saw the suspect's escape. Hamilton said he was passing by the UT Credit Union when the suspect came running out.
"He was wearing everything like he'd be in a hospital, like he'd been sick," Hamilton said, referring to the suspect's surgical mask and white apparel. "I thought he was stumbling out of the bank, and he mumbled under his breath, 'excuse me,' and he was coughing."
Hamilton said he did not think about the incident in depth until after walking out of the bathroom a few minutes later and finding the previously crowded UC deserted.
"I had no idea it was a robbery," Hamilton said. "Then I got the UT alert, and it said an armed robbery... I just started freaking out because I'm like 'oh my God, I almost walked into the guy.'"
This story will be updated as The Daily Beacon staff learns more throughout the day.