Cops arrest bank robber, free 11 hostages in Florida

Updated: Dec 02, 2016, 09:16 IST | Agencies |

The police arrested a suspected bank robber and freed 11 people who were taken hostage during an attempted heist at a bank in Jacksonville, Florida, yesterday, authorities said

Community First Credit Union
Community First Credit Union

JACKSONVILLE (Florida)The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said the suspect had been armed with a handgun but that no one was shot. “Reports of people shot are inaccurate and untrue,” the sheriff’s office said on Twitter.

On Edgewood Avenue West, where a suspect took 11 people hostage. Pic courtesy: @JuliaJenaeFCN

The suspect attempting to rob Community First Credit Union on Edgewood Avenue West has been identified by the police. Sheriff Mike Williams said the man’s name was Deandre Shuman. His age is not yet known.

The incident began at 11 am (EST). As the situation unfolded, Shuman released a couple of hostages, but continued to threaten people, Williams said.

He added that Shuman threatened to kill hostages multiple times and put a gun to the back of their heads a couple times.
At one point, two hostages tried to flee, which distracted Shuman, and that’s when SWAT team members stormed into the bank, taking him into custody, Williams said.

While the situation was resolved peacefully, the victims — employees and customers — are “shaken up”, Williams said, adding that the suspect is not a bank employee.

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.”

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