FLORIDA SIEGE Gunman arrested after taking 11 hostages during bank robbery

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The assailant entered the Community First Credit Union shortly after 9am and attempted to steal money, but took 11 hostages when he realised he was not going to get his hands on the cash.

The man, believed to be in his thirties, then sat the hostages down in a line and held the gun to their heads.

After subjecting his captives to a terrifying ordeal, the gunman demanded police give him money and bring his family members to the scene so he could talk to them.

SWAT teams surrounded the building and had their sights on the armed robber, who made a phone call to his mother while he was holed-up.

But the handed himself into police shortly afterwards and is now in custody where he is likely to face charges of kidnapping, armed robbery, according to Sheriff Mike Williams.

Speaking during the incident, Officer Melissa Bujeda said: “We know multiple people are inside the bank but we haven”t been able to verify if someone has been shot.

“The suspect who tried to rob the bank is contained inside the bank.

“Some of the immediate area has been evacuated, including nearby businesses.

“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.”

One of the hostages, an 18-year-old working at the bank, managed to text his mother to tell her he was unharmed.

Latasha Shuman, the man”s mother, said her son messaged to say: “Mama, I”m safe.”

She added: “I”m just so relieved.”

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

Initial reports suggested a hostage had been shot, but this has been denied by the authorities.

More to follow…