JSO: 11 hostages safe after bank robbery, standoff

Suspect in police custody


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A bank robbery suspect who took hostages inside a Community First Credit Union on Edgewood Avenue West is in custody and the hostages have been released, according to multiple sources.

News 6 partner, News4Jax crews at the scene watched as the 11 hostages inside the bank were escorted out by Jacksonville Sheriff's Office SWAT officers about 11 a.m. Thursday.

About 9:45 a.m., police confirmed a robber was contained inside the credit union with 11 hostages, sources said. The SWAT team and hostage negotiators arrived at the scene and worked to resolve the situation.

"The suspect who tried to rob the bank is contained inside the bank," JSO spokeswoman Officer Melissa Bujeda said during the incident. "We know multiple people are inside the bank but we haven't been able to verify if someone has been shot."

Edgewood Avenue West near Lem Turner Road and other area roads remain blocked.

"Some of the immediate area has been evacuated, including nearby businesses," Bujeda said. "We're asking for everyone's cooperation at this time. We want this to be a safe resolution for everybody and we are doing our darndest to make that happen."

Officers asked everyone to stay away from the bank and to not take any photos or videos of SWAT positions, as it could pose a danger.

News4Jax spoke to a woman who has an 18-year-old son working in the bank. She said that just after 9 a.m., she began receiving calls from friends and relatives about someone being held hostage in the bank.

Just before 11 a.m., she said her son texted her to say "Mama, I'm safe."

"I'm just so relieved," Latasha Shuman said. 

Shuman said her son has worked at the bank for two to three months and has never had any issues or problems at work.

Watch Channel 6 news at noon for the latest information and return to this story throughout the morning for updates.