The University of Miami's Coral Gables campus sits just across the street from the Bank of America. A university spokeswoman told ABCNews.com that the school was operating normally, but had sent out an emergency alert to students, faculty and staff warning them of the hostage situation and to stay away from the scene.
The bank robbery was reminiscent of the 2003 "pizza bomber" robbery of a bank in Erie, Pa. Pizza deliveryman Brian Wells entered the bank with a time bomb rigged to his neck and told tellers he was being forced to rob the bank. After being stopped by police with more than $8,000 he robbed from the bank, the bomb exploded, killing Wells.
It was later determined that Wells had taken part in planning the robbery, but he had believed a fake bomb would be attached to him. When he learned it was a real bomb, he tried to flee, but the other men subdued him and strapped the device to him.