Firefighter hostage situation ends with suspect's death - New York News

Firefighter hostage situation ends with suspect's death

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SUWANEE, Ga. -

Authorities say that a hostage situation involving Gwinnett County firefighters ended with the suspect dead and a SWAT officer injured on Wednesday.

Cpl. Edwin Ritter of the Gwinnett County Police Department said that the suspect was killed after the SWAT team entered into the home to end the four-hour hostage situation around 7:30 p.m.

Authorities identified the suspect as Lauren Brown on Thursday.

"It got to a point where we believed that their lives were in immediate danger and our SWAT team made the decision to go in there and neutralize the situation," said Ritter.

Authorities did not say if the suspect died of a self-inflicted wound or if he was shot by officers.

A Lawrenceville police officer apparently suffered a gunshot wound to his hand, Ritter said. He was listed good condition, according to Beth Okun, spokesperson at Gwinnett Medical Center.

The officer remains hospitalized at Gwinnett Medical Center on Wednesday.

The four firefighters being held hostage suffered superficial injuries when a flashbang went off to distract the gunman, according to Ritter. Those firefighters were transported to Gwinnett Medical Center. According to Gwinnett Medical Center officials, the four firefighters have been treated and released.

Police say that the incident began after firefighters responded to a home in the 2400 block of Walnut Grove Way in Suwanee after the suspect made a heart attack call around 3:40 p.m.

"They arrived at the scene. They went in and began to do what they do every day when they were taken hostage," said Rutledge.

Ritter said that the suspect was apparently suffering financial difficulties and was demanding to have his power and other utilities turned back on. The Associated Press reports that public records show that the home where the situation took place is in foreclosure and has been bank-owned since mid-November.

There were originally five hostages, but one firefighter was let go to move the fire truck, according to Rutledge.

"In my 25 years in the fire service here in Gwinnett, I have not witnessed an incident like this, so it's a first for me, but we're thankful that they're OK and very thankful to our police department," Rutledge.

The home where the incident took is near Collins Hill Park, Walnut Grove Elementary School and Collins Hill High School. Those schools are closed this week for spring break.


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