CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – A man who barricaded himself inside an Oakleaf condo complex was taken into custody Tuesday after a three-hour standoff that evacuated several buildings.
Tuesday morning, the Clay County Sheriff's Office said Brian Bolden, 37, got into an argument with a member of the amenities crew before firing multiple shots and barricading himself inside a unit at The Preserve condo complex. The crew told deputies Bolden threatened them and then fired five to 10 shots during the confrontation.
Residents were told not to leave their homes unless they had contacted law enforcement or were being escorted out of their units.
“The last thing that we want is to have people fleeing out of their apartments coming toward our SWAT operators and our members who are on scene, and our members not knowing who you are or what you're doing. These are tense situations," Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Chris Padgett said. “We absolutely anticipate the end result of this being positive. We hope to get the subject in custody and determine what led to all of this.”
Padgett stressed that no injuries were reported from the gunfire.
“We're very thankful for that. We do know that the amenities crew went through a lot," he said. "We ask that everyone keep them in your thoughts … This is obviously a traumatic event and it takes a mental toll.”
Deputies believe Bolden lived in the complex.
"If you are watching this, we want to talk with you," Padgett said to the man. "This is a situation that you can explain yourself. You can reach out to us and call in. We will be more than happy to let our negotiations team and our members talk to you and determine what's going on and the best way that we can resolve this situation."
The negotiations team, along with SWAT, managed to talk him out of the unit and take him into custody just before noon. He was arrested on a warrant for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Bolden's bond is set at $250,000.
After he surrendered, Lisa Wielgosz said she realized that she had come face to face with Bolden and talked to him seconds after shots were fired. She said she was in the parking lot when she heard the loud noise and he rushed past her, heading straight for one of the buildings.
"That’s insane," said Brittany White, Wielgosz's daughter.
Neighbors, many of whom were still asleep, said they were awakened by sheriff’s deputies telling them they needed to leave.
“Some police officers knocked on the door, told me to evacuate to the amenities center. I walked over there and there (were) some police officers with snipers. A lot of people were scared. A lot of people were just trying to hurry up and get over there," Odjuan Whitfield said about the evacuation.
Audrey Barker said SWAT also came knocking on her front door.
"My condo sits right across from there. My bedroom window can look right down into their lanai," Barker said. "They were sitting on the edge of the bed and I have a little stool. They are by the window sitting there and they had their guns cocked and they were just waiting."
People who live in the condo complex were thankful it was a peaceful resolution. Many of them also credited the Sheriff's Office for a quick response, as deputies were on the scene within a minute of when the shots were fired.
“Huge shoutout to our team, and I've got to give a shoutout to our community. Every single person who is down the road who we've been able to talk to -- this is traumatic for them, including the amenities crew -- every one of them has gone above and beyond to relay information to us and to help us get the details that we needed in order to make a safe operation," Padgett said. "We truly admire the support that the residents of Oakleaf gave us, along with the partnership of our local media, and everyone who brought this to a successful conclusion."