Five Georgia firefighters taken hostage by a gunman inside a Suwanee home are going to be alright after an intense end to a Wednesday evening standoff. They were responding to a 9-1-1 call of a medical emergency when they were taken by the homeowner, who later released one to move their firetruck from in front of the house.
Gwinnett County Police Cpl. E.J. Ritter provided updates after SWAT teams entered the home:
"We had our officers make contact with the individual, they made entry into the home - that's what you heard when you heard the explosions. Gunfire exchanged between the suspect and our SWAT team; the suspect is deceased at this time. One of our officers was injured with a gunshot wound, he was transported to the hospital; it appears that it's going to be non-life threatening. As well as the firefighters, there were four firefighters that were injured, but they were all superficial wounds. They're all going to be okay and they're going to be going home tonight. The officer: we're going to check him out, make sure he's going to be okay and he's going to be going home eventually, as well."
"The fire department was called out there originally, we don't know if it's going to be a fake heart attack or if he was actually suffering from some type of medical condition. But when they made entry into the home, they were taken hostage by him and then he started making demands. These demands were to have his power turned back on - apparently, he's going through some financial issues and the power was turned off, along with the cable and cell phone and so on, and he wanted all those things turned back on. And that's why he was holding them hostage."
Doug Evans with FOX TV affiliate WAGA in Atlanta has more:
Something changed in the negotiations that made them believe that the firefighters were in jeopardy, so that's why they did the flash-bang, the explosion. They entered the house, there was gunfire exchanged.
They're not saying right now that they're the ones that shot the suspect, but they are saying that he died of a gunshot wound. And they have one officer injured, taken to the hospital. And the four firefighters have superficial injuries.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Cpl. Ritter says the firefighters' injuries were caused by the explosives used by the SWAT team during entry into the house and are not gunshot wounds.