Witnesses describe NBT Bank robbery at trial


UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The first witnesses have taken the stand in the attempted murder and robbery trial of Brian Brown. He is accused of robbing NBT Bank in Rome and Bank of America in east Utica last year, and shooting an Oneida County Sheriff's Deputy following the Rome robbery.

The first witness on the stand was Gloria Ferdinand, a teller at NBT. She described in detail the robbery, including how the suspect, whom she described as a small, black man, held a gun in her face.

"He held it in his right hand and it was pointed straight at me and after that he pointed it up, shot into the ceiling and I went down. I don't know whether I fell or dropped, I really couldn't tell you I was in shock," said Ferdinand.

Next, jurors got to see a bank surveillance video which played out the exact scene Ferdinand described: a man pointed a gun in her face, then jumped on the counter and pointed it down at her when she ducked after he fired a shot into the ceiling. Ferdinand testified that she, the suspect and another bank employee put money into a bag that the suspect had given her. Then the suspect leaves, and Ferdinand and another bank employee can be seen on the video hugging and consoling one another.

Ferdinand says the suspect took approximately $6000 from the bank that July morning. She couldn't identify the suspect because she says his face was covered with some sort of cloth or "do rag". She says she saw his wrist when he was holding the gun so she was able to tell he was black. She also said he had a small build.

Testimony continues Tuesday afternoon.

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