Surveillance video shows harrowing hostage situation at Jax credit union

Video released from inside credit union hostage situation

Surveillance video showing multiple angles of the hostage situation during a robbery at a Jacksonville credit union from December show the harrowing hours of those on the inside and the eventual takedown of the suspect by over a dozen SWAT team members.

Below you'll find multiple videos showing the scenes, with descriptors of important events we feel happened during the video. There's over 20 minutes of footage from the two hours standoff, but we only detail certain events.

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What we know now

Nicholas Humphrey is charged with 13 counts of kidnapping with a weapon and one count each of attempted armed robbery and grand theft auto, court records show. He's pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Thirteen people were inside the Community First Credit Union on Edgewood Avenue for hours as a suspect tried and failed to rob the store posing as a blind man with a seeing eye dog. Shortly after hovering around the front entrance to the store, Humphrey pulled out a gun and ordered all people inside to a nearby atrium.

Chaos ensued inside, as Humphrey clearly became panicked during the standoff with authorities. He can be seen in the videos lining up the hostages several times and having them walk in a line. At one point during the crisis, Humphrey puts three hostages in front of the front door on their knees with their hands on their heads.

Investigators say he threatened to kill the hostages.

During the standoff, Humphrey made multiple requests to negotiators asking for family members. Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams is on record saying law enforcement isn't sure what the point of bringing in family members would have been.

It may have been something to do with mental health issues, Williams went on to say.

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The robbery

At 9:03 a.m. on December 1, 2016, Humphrey pulled a gun and began the robbery. Eight minutes later, police arrived. It would be just under two hours before the hostage situation was resolved with no injuries.

He'd arrived at the credit union in a stolen vehicle, law enforcement says. 

As soon as a customer left at 9:03 a.m., while hovering by the door, Humphrey pulled a gun and started threatening staff and patrons. Not a few minutes later some people tried to enter the store but noticed the strange situation and thought better of it.

A woman at the scene spoke to First Coast News and said while in the credit union drive-thru lane she noticed tellers walking around with their hands on their heads. She immediately called 911.

While both pretending to be blind and trying to rob the bank, a mid-size dog can be seen hanging around Humphrey. The dog was not harmed in the hostage situation and is safe, police say.

During the situation, Jacksonville's Sheriff incorrectly identified an 18-year-old teller inside the store as the gunman. Later that day he told the public he called the teen's mother to personally apologize.

FBI special agents were on scene to assist the sheriff's office during the crisis.

Community First CEO and President John Hirabayashi even came forward to release a statement. "The Community First Credit Union family of employees and members is grateful for the safe rescue and release of 11 people taken hostage," he wrote in a release.

"I am personally grateful for the amazing professionalism and strength of our branch team who had to endure a situation we've not seen in many years," he continued in his message. "An active shooter is something we call know can happen and we hope never does, but these employees used their training to save lives today."

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The surveillance video (time codes in bold)

VIDEO | Surveillance footage showing the hostage crisis (mobile users click here)

The first video shows customers in line and not ten seconds in, the man believed to be Humphrey walk by the entrance of the store with a dog on a leash. The video provided in this story was recorded by our staff off the video released by the sheriff's office.

Humphrey can then be seen talking to someone through the open door around 45 seconds in and then hangs around near the entrance as a man with a cane leaves. He's pretending to be blind at this point.

He continues to hang out near the entrance for several more minutes. We speed up the surveillance footage to show customers enter and leave. Around 1:50 a woman in a pink dress enters. When she leaves moments later, Humphrey pulls his gun.

At 2:08, Humphrey reaches into his bag and pulls out a gun and begins waving it around. Moments later a man walks up trying to get into the credit union but Humphrey brandishes the weapon. The dog is off the leash at this time and begins running around the financial office.

Starting at 2:30, Humphrey can be seen yelling and pointing before strolling across the main lobby and grabbing a man in a tie and pointing his gun at the man's head. Thirty seconds later, he pushes the employee to the front door and has him lock it.

All the employees and patrons are then pushed into a vestibule off the main entrance around 3:40 at gunpoint. One employee is told to do something (what - we can't know due to the lack of sound).

More patrons attempt to enter around 4:35, but find the door locked and see some suspicious activity - just six minutes after the beginning of the crisis. Police won't arrive until 9:11. At this time you can hear two of our assignment editors discussing the news as they organize the video.

Beginning just before 5:40, Humphrey lines up three patrons near the front door with their hands behind their head and stands behind them for over a minute.

Around 7:15, Humphrey can be seen commanding people to move around and stand in certain areas. Everyone has their hands up. During this whole crisis, there are two people hiding from Humphrey. He takes the rest of the employees off camera.

The video changes again just before 9 minutes in we move forward almost half an hour in the surveillance video. The camera angle changes to a new camera and shows the beginning of the hostage situation again. The new angle is from behind the tellers.

The angle changes again at 10:20 back to the original angle and if you watch the time it's near the end of the situation. By 10:52 a.m., SWAT has been set up outside for some time and negotiations have been ongoing. 

At 11 minutes in, Humphrey uses one person as a human shield walking up to the windows. That person is let go and flees the credit union. The next video shows the two hidden employees escape and the SWAT takedown of Humphrey.

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VIDEO | Escape and SWAT takedown of Humphrey (mobile users click here)

This video begins at 10:54 a.m., just minutes before the end of the standoff. At :38 seconds in, you can see the two people who'd been hiding run out the door. One has trouble escaping and falls, but is still able to get out. When the pair finally escapes at 1 minute in, Humphrey comes running out to the front atrium and throws the gun, standing with his hands up at the front door.

At 1:47, SWAT can be seen moving throughout the parking lot and at time code 2:40, Humphrey falls to the ground and extends his arms. SWAT rushes the building at 2:50. Watch until the end to see SWAT check the building and secure the hostages. Humphrey remains on the ground in handcuffs until SWAT flips him over and checks his person.

Humphrey will be in court again March 23.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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