An armed man was taken into custody after a hostage situation stemming from a bank robbery at a Jacksonville, Florida, bank, authorities said this morning.
Eleven hostages were rescued, authorities said, adding that no one was injured.
This morning’s incident began with a gunman taking hostages inside the Community First Credit Union. As the situation unfolded, the suspect released a couple of hostages, but continued to threaten people, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said at news conference.
Williams said the suspect threatened to kill hostages multiple times and put a gun to the back of hostages’ heads a couple times.
At one point, two hostages tried to flee, which distracted the suspect, and that’s when SWAT team members stormed into the bank, taking the suspect into custody, Williams said.
While the situation was resolved peacefully, the victims — employees and bank customers — are “shaken up,” Williams said.
The suspect is not a bank employee, Williams added.
John Hirabayashi, CEO and president at Community First Credit Union, said in a statement, “We are so thankful that today’s hostage situation resolved itself in a safe way. Our hearts and prayers are with the families and membership.”
While the hostage situation was unfolding, the mother of a bank employee told local news station First Coast News that she hadn’t been able to reach her 45-year-old daughter, who she knew had left for work that morning.
“I don’t know what is going on,” the employee’s mother said, appearing emotional. “She just had a birthday.”
Directly across the street from the bank, staff members and children huddled inside a church/day care. One woman said they were trapped inside the day care and church building because of the police and fire trucks blocking the street. She told ABC News she wasn’t scared, saying, “We have God.”