CRIME

Armed suspect caught after hostage situation at Alabama credit union

Police raced to the credit union in Tuscaloosa.

Police raced to the credit union in Tuscaloosa.  (Fox 6)

An armed suspect accused of taking as many as eight hostages at a credit union on the campus of the University of Alabama was under arrest Tuesday, police announced, as a standoff that gripped Tuscaloosa for hours came to an end.

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SWAT team officers were able to storm the Alabama Credit Union and "take him down," Police Chief Steve Anderson told reporters. The unnamed suspect apparently wanted to rob the place, Anderson added.

It all started when a worker noticed somebody "irregular" inside the building and called the cops, Univ. of Alabama Asst. Police Chief Aaron Fowler said. It happened around 8:30 a.m., while the credit union was still closed.

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The credit union's president, Steve Swofford, told Fox 6 his employees were safe. 

The university had sent out a campus-wide alert warning people to stay away. The credit union was in a busy area of the city, with several restaurants and doctors' offices also in surrounding blocks.

Video and photos from the area showed police in military-style vehicles and tactical gear with guns drawn, and a police helicopter overhead. Officers were working quickly to evacuate nearby businesses.

"My thoughts & prayers are with these officers, the hostages, and their families," Mayor Walt Maddox tweeted.

The campus had been largely quiet on Tuesday. Classes were set to get back underway on Wednesday after the winter break.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.