JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Newly obtained surveillance video captures frightening moments from a SWAT standoff with an armed man on Jacksonville’s Southside.
The video, which News4Jax obtained from a nearby business owner, shows a man pulling up Thursday morning in a black pickup truck, then entering the Serenity Spa on Southside Boulevard with a gun in his hand.
Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Chief of Investigations T.K. Waters identified the man as Gabriel Campla, 33.
Minutes later, video shows two male customers and two female employees run out of the massage parlor’s front doors. The video then shows the suspect, gun in hand, telling an employee to come back into the salon. He closes the door after she returns.
Cellphone videos from a nearby business show one of the customers who escaped hiding behind his SUV with a gun pointed toward the front of the business. He held that position as the first patrol officers arrived minutes later.
Khalid Anwar owns a food store next door. He said he heard the commotion and tried to step out, but the armed customer told him to go back inside for his safety.
“It very dangerous,” Anwar said. “We were scared. We were shaking. Anything could happen.”
Anwar said it was especially scary because the walls between his shop and the salon are drywall and that he’d been robbed and beaten by someone years earlier.
Anwar’s video showed police arriving with guns drawn and escorting him and other bystanders to safety.
Meanwhile, the JSO SWAT team, air unit, K9 unit and countless patrol officers flooded the area, closing down Southside Boulevard.
FBI and Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents also arrived to assist, along with state troopers.
Waters said a woman who was being held hostage inside the business calmed the man down, got him to lie down and then escaped through a back door, unharmed.
After hours of a tense standoff, video shows SWAT team members moving in with armored vehicles. They use their trucks to push the black pickup out of the way.
Minutes later, Campla walks out with his hands up. There is no audio in the video, so News4JAX can not hear the commands.
SWAT team Officer Cheth Plaugher releases his K9, Huk, who grabs Campla by the arm and pulls him to the ground. SWAT team members move in toward Campla as a separate group searches the spa for other possible threats or hostages. None were found.
A SWAT medic and Jacksonville firefighters treat Campla for bite wounds, load him onto a stretcher, and by police-escort, take him to the hospital.
Friday afternoon, Duval County jail records revealed that Campla had been released from the hospital and booked into jail on a $250,000 bond. He faces a number of felony charges ranging from attempted murder, aggravated assault and false imprisonment.
Waters said he’s a person of interest in an unrelated robbery.
News4JAX searched his history and found one criminal traffic charge, a petition for an injunction against domestic violence against him and several traffic violations. The judge did not grant the injunction.
Detectives said they did not have a motive for why Campla chose the business. Anyone with information is asked to call the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
Employees at the spa told News4JAX they were shaken up and did not immediately want to talk about what happened.