A SWAT team has killed the Georgia gunman who was holding four firefighters hostage on Tuesday. Several of the firefighters sustained minor injuries during the SWAT rescue, but none of them experienced major wounds.
According to MyFoxAtlanta, Gwinett County police showed up to the hostage site in a suburban home and set off a flashbang grenade in an effort to disorient and distract the armed gunman. Soon after, SWAT team members moved into the house and exchanged fire with the gunman, who appears to have been killed in the exchange.
“The suspect is deceased,” Gwinnett County Cpl. Edwin Ritter told ABC News.
Following the death of the gunman, the four firefighters were rescued. After being examined by ambulances outside the scene, the firefighters were found to have sustained “superficial wounds from the explosion,” according to Ritter.
MyFoxAtlanta reports that all four firefighters were taken to the hospital and all are expected to return home by the end of the night.
An unnamed gunman took the firefighters hostage in the north Georgia town of Suwanee around 3:40 p.m. EDT. The gunman had made a 911 call reporting that he was having a heart attack. Five firefighters responded to the call and entered the house expecting to administer first aid to the heart attack victim when they were taken hostage by the armed gunman. The gunman allowed one hostage to leave in order to move the fire truck.
"This was a typical emergency response, no indication that anything would go wrong, and firefighters went in with their multiple equipment to perform patient care and meet the need of the person who is inside," Gwinnett Fire Capt. Tommy Rutledge told WSBTV Atlanta.
According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the gunman attempted to use the four hostage firefighters as a bargaining chip to have his utilities and cable turned back on at the house. The owner was reportedly desperate after his house was foreclosed on.
WSBTV Atlanta spoke with Freddie Mac spokesman Brad German to confirm that the house had indeed been foreclosed. According to German, the house was being readied to be placed on the market at the time of the incident.
Eric Brown is an IBTimes reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.