Georgia man in bed before flashing gun to take hostages: police

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 11, 2013 3:16 PM
Georgia man in bed before flashing gun to take hostages: police

ATLANTA (Reuters) - The man who took five firefighters hostage in Georgia on Wednesday lured them to his home by saying he had a medical emergency and was lying in bed when they arrived to help, police said on Thursday.

The man, identified as 55-year-old Lauren Brown, "seemed to be suffering from a condition that restricted his movement," Gwinnett County Police Chief Charles Walters said in a news conference.

But Brown soon flashed a handgun and held the firefighters at gunpoint, Walters said, demanding that they help get his power, cable television and cell phone service restored.

The standoff in Suwanee, about 35 miles northeast of Atlanta, ended with gunfire nearly four hours later after police moved in to free the captives.

Brown was killed, and a police officer who received non-life-threatening wounds remained hospitalized on Thursday. Four of the firefighters received minor injuries from an explosive device used to disorient the suspect.

Brown had earlier released a fifth firefighter to move a fire truck away from the front of his home, officials said.

A dispatch tape released by several local TV stations recorded one of the firefighters explaining what was happening inside the house as the incident began to unfold.

"We are in a situation where we have an armed person, and he is requesting certain utilities to be turned back on at his house," said the fireman, who was not identified. "And he is armed, and we are in the room with him."

The fireman said Brown had multiple handguns and rifles in the home.

(Reporting by Colleen Jenkins and David Beasley; Editing by Paul Thomasch and Alden Bentley)