Suspect Dead, 4 Firefighters Safe After Hostage Standoff
SUWANEE, Ga. (WAOK) — Authorities in Gwinnett County say a man is now dead after SWAT officers stormed a home where he was holding four firefighters hostage. SWAT officers set off a flash bang explosive and entered the home exchanging gunfire with the suspect. Gwinnett County Fire Capt Tommy Rutledge says the incident began when 5 firefighters on Wednesday responded to what turned out to be a fake medical call at a home in the 2400 block of Walnut Grove Way in Suwanee. All five firefighters were taken hostage by a man who is still unidentified.
For several hours after the hostage crisis began, police negotiators spoke to the suspect but were not able to peacefully negotiate an end to the drama. Police Cpl. Edwin Ritter says information on a possible motive was not immediately available however WSB-TV reported that the home was in foreclosure and was being prepared for resale. Ritter said during negotiations the suspect demanded that the power and cable to the home be restored.
Police and fire trucks surrounding the neighborhood of mostly two-story homes and well-kept lawns about 35 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta.
The firefighters all sustained non life threatening injuries which were the result of the flash bang explosion. A Gwinnett County police officer was injured in the exchange of gunfire with the suspect.