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Gunman held firemen hostage, how SWAT ended standoff

1:07 PM, Apr 12, 2013   |    comments
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SUWANEE, Ga. -- Police have confirmed 55-year old Lauren Holman Brown was the suspect who held firefighters hostage in Suwanee Wednesday.

A SWAT team stormed the house on Walnut Grove Way in Suwanee just after 7:30p.m. Wednesday.

During the Thursday afternoon press conference, 11Alive learned more details of the standoff.

Wednesday, dispatchers got a call from Brown at 3:41 p.m. He was complaining of chest pains. Firemen arrived to Brown's home at 3:48 and found him lying in bed. At 3:52, Brown produced a handgun and took the five firemen hostage.

Shortly after, Brown demanded the routine fire truck and ambulance be removed from the front of his home. He released one firefighter to do so, leaving four hostages inside.

Brown made an order that service be restored to his utilities, including cable and phone. At that time, negotiators began making contact with the gunman.

Negotiators continuously tried to convince Brown to let the four hostages go, but he refused. Brown told police that he was in control - the authorities were not.

As the evening came, Brown ordered that food be delivered to the home for him and his hostages at 6:30 p.m. SWAT members arrived under the guise that they were bringing him food from his choice restaurant, Captain D's Seafood Kitchen.

Upon delivery at 7:30, SWAT initiated their operation and quickly evacuated the firemen who Brown let go to receive the food when it arrived.

SWAT entered Brown's home to begin their rescue. Police used a flash-bang grenade to distract the suspect when they felt the firefighters were in "immediate danger."

Brown fired at the first officer to enter the room, striking him in the arm. That officer returned fire and killed Brown.

Brown had set a second deadline for 7:30 p.m., when he wanted his demands met. However, authorities believed Brown would not release the hostages even if his demands were met.

During the standoff, Brown requested rope and tape to restrict the firefighters' movements. Police later found a total of six guns inside Brown's home.

Police said Brown wanted his family to know what was going on, but he never made his ultimate goals clear.

At the time of the standoff, family members of the personnel were notified. Police will not release the name of the officer injured who killed Brown, nor the names of the hostages until Friday at the earliest.

Police said they're saddened that the standoff ended in a death, but they are thankful for the rescue of all firemen taken hostage. Authorities said the firefighters remained calm throughout the incident, which helped tremendously.

Cpl. Jake Smith said the investigation is nowhere near closed, and they have yet to learn of Brown's mental health history. The gunman was struggling with financial barriers, but police have yet to determine exactly what those were.

When dispatchers were called to the scene, police said they were unaware if power was on or off at Brown's home, partially because the standoff began during daylight. They found that Brown lived alone.

According got authorities, the responding Fire Station 10 had resumed normal operation before the standoff came to a close, and is still running normally today.

The police chief said Brown claimed to have been planning this event for several weeks. It is believed that Brown had occupied the home for more than a decade.

According to neighbors, the house recently began to look unkempt and that the grass hadn't been cut.

According to property tax records, Brown's home was foreclosed on last November and the mortgage switched hands from Wells Fargo to Freddie Mac.

Although Brown demanded that the lights and utilities be cut on to release the firefighters, neighbors say they saw the lights on in the house as recently as Tuesday.

WXIA

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