The suspect who held 11 people hostage in a credit union in Tuscaloosa has been identified as an 18-year-old man, according to The University of Alabama officials.
UA identified the suspect as Cedrick Lamar Collins. University of Alabama police made the arrest. They said he has no known affiliation with The University of Alabama.
Collins was taken into custody a few hours after the hostage situation began. He has been charged with first-degree robbery and more charges are likely, UA spokesman Shane Dorrill said.
The Tuscaloosa County Public Defender's Office confirms that Collins is the same suspect in a 2015 rape and kidnapping case. Court documents show Collins was out on bond for the 2015 case.
Tuscaloosa District Attorney Hayes Webb says that his office has filed a motion to revoke Collins' bond in the 2015 case. A judge has not ruled on the motion but Webb hopes that Collins will remain in jail until that case is concluded.
No one was injured after the armed suspect entered the Alabama Credit Union on Paul Bryant Drive around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 10 and held 11 people hostage for two hours.
The incident began as a robbery and escalated into a hostage situation, according to Tuscaloosa Chief of Police Steven D. Anderson.
No customers were in the building at the time.
Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox thanked law enforcement for their work in ending the incident.
"This could have been a very dangerous situation and it had a lot of variables," he said.
Authorities were able to breach the building once they determined that the suspect was not in the same part of the business as the hostages, according to Chief Anderson.
The Alabama Credit Union owns the building, but the University of Alabama owns the land where the credit union is located, Dorrill said. The credit union is not part of the UA campus.
UA is providing counseling for the hostages and their family members as needed. None of the hostages were UA employees, Dorrill said. Medical personnel checked out the hostages and law enforcement officials debriefed them after the situation ended, according to UA.
Prior to the end of the situation, CEO Steve Swofford said that all employees are safe.
“We are thankful that the incident ended peacefully and nobody was injured,” UA President Stuart Bell said in a news release.
“We are extremely proud of how The University of Alabama Police Department worked with various other agencies for a positive resolution to a frightening situation. I want to thank the FBI, Tuscaloosa PD, Sheriff’s Office, UAPD and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency for their responsiveness, professionalism and expertise to end this incident peacefully. UA is a proud partner with this community and will always assist and respond to any incident in the areas surrounding our campus community," Bell added.
The Tuscaloosa Sheriff's Department, University of Alabama Police Department and the FBI assisted in the operation.
The Alabama Credit Union will reopen for business on Wednesday, according to a spokesperson.
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