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Five Georgia Firefighters Freed After Hostage Situation

Story By: Larry Stine

 

 

 
 
 
   
   
  Originally Published on: 4/11/2013

  Five Georgia firefighters responded to what they thought was a medial call and ended up as hostages for several hours.

  Melisa Raney tells us what authorities think the gunman's motive was.

  Police say the firefighters arrived ready to help someone in need Wednesday afternoon. Instead, they were taken hostage.

This is a radio transmission from one of the hostages.

"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 and he is armed and we are in the room with him."

Authorities believe financial trouble led the gunman to take the firefighters hostage.

They also say the home was in foreclosure but have not said whether that had anything to do with the situation.

"Apparently he's going through some financial issues and the power was turned off along with the cable and cellphone," said Cpl. Ed Ritter of the Gwinnett County Police Department.

After several hours with no progress, authorities decided to take action.

"It got to the 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.

They used explosives to distract the suspect who was killed in an exchange of gunfire.

A neighbor says she was home with her daughter when it happened.

"We felt it. She was sleeping, my daughter was sleeping, and it woke her up," said Kathryn Roberts.
 
The firefighters and one police officer suffered only minor injuries.

Police have not revealed the identity of the gunman.

   
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