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Quick actions of woman held hostage at Jacksonville spa saved lives, expert says

A woman who was held hostage inside the Serenity Spa for five hours told the suspect to relax and she ran out. Police commend her actions.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — After an hours long standoff, police are commending a woman who was held hostage inside of the Serenity Spa on the Southside.

Shortly after 11:30 a.m., police arrived at the massage parlor to find 33-year-old Gabriel Enrique Cambla holding someone hostage inside.

Police say they received a 911 call from someone saying Cambla came inside of the massage parlor and appeared agitated. He asked everyone inside to leave and three people got out. One woman was left inside and Cambla held the woman inside until she told him to lay down and she began talking to him.

Police say the woman used the opportunity to escape.

JSO says they allowed a negotiator from the SWAT team to speak with Cambla and he was successfully apprehended by a K9 officer.

First Coast News spoke with crime and safety expert, Mark Baughman, who says the woman's quick actions saved her life.

"It was very much a calculated risk, but she was brave and very smart in the way she handled it," Baughman said.

Baughman says the best thing to do in a similar situation is to remain calm and listen to instructions.

"You don't want to trigger them and they hurt you or someone as a result of what you said," he said.

First Coast News spoke with employees from the spa who didn't wish to be interviewed but told us the situation was scary.

At this time police don't know the motive for the hostage situation. 


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