CRIME

Suspect In Custody After Robbery Turns To Hostage Situation At Florida Bank

At least 11 people were held hostage.

A suspect is in custody after holding several people hostage in a bank in Jacksonville, Florida, police said Thursday morning.

Jacksonville authorities said they arrived on the scene at Community First Credit Union as a robbery was in progress around 9 a.m., ABC News reported. The suspect, armed with a handgun, then took at least 11 people hostage, police said.

Police negotiators got in contact with the suspect, who demanded to see a family member and at one point let some of the hostages go, Sheriff Mike Williams said at a midday press conference. At that time, police mistakenly identified a hostage as the suspect. The department later said that identification had been incorrect.

The suspect allegedly threatened other hostages, pushing his gun into the back of some of their heads.

“It became more and more intense,” Williams said of the incident.

A SWAT team was eventually able to take the suspect into custody after two people who had been hiding from the gunman inside the credit union made for an exit. The distraction allowed authorities to enter the building, free the hostages and detain the suspect.

No one was injured. Police said the suspect will likely face charges of bank robbery and armed kidnapping.

This post has been updated to reflect the police department’s error in identifying the suspect as well as with information from a press conference.

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