During active shooting, bank employees sought safety in vault

Local News

PANAMA CITY Fla. (WMBB) — Two years ago, former Regions employee, James Wiley hunkered down with co-workers as police battled an active shooter at the apartment complex nearby.

Wiley said that he and his co-workers feared for their lives.

“It’s crazy, it’s hectic,” Wiley said, “I had only been working there two months.”

Wiley said that he was afraid but felt a little more protected after they locked the bank doors and hunkered down.

“We knew that the building was locked down and that we were all safe as long as we were in their together, locked down,” Wiley said.

Wiley and his co-workers said they heard shots as they were being fired.

“We turned on all the microphones in the drive-though and you could hear the SWAT team as they were firing towards the apartment building and it was crazy,” Wiley said.

Wiley said that at first, they were sure what was going on.

“All we knew was that there was an active shooter, Wiley said. We weren’t sure if they were coming for the bank.”

Wiley and his co-workers took cover in the most secure location — the vault.

“We were in there for five hours,” Wiley said, “There is no place that you could feel safer.”

Wiley and his former co-workers made sure to reach out to one another today. He said they are the only ones who understand exactly what each other went through.

“It bonded all of us closer together,” Wiley said. “It’s been two years. I didn’t work there long and I’m still getting messages from them on the anniversary of the day.”

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