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Radio call captures Georgia gunman holding firefighters hostage

April 10, 2013|By Matt Pearce

Five Atlanta-area firefighters were taken hostage after a medical call Wednesday, and a standoff with a gunman was ongoing.

Four firefighters remained captive in the Suwanee home by evening. One had been released to move a truck that was outside the house, officials said.

A SWAT team surrounded the house as negotiations continued. WSB-TV reported that the home was in foreclosure by Freddie Mac.

The gunman had "multiple handguns, multiple rifles," according to emergency scanner audio captured from local officials and posted online.

"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," said one speaker in the scanner audio -- apparently one of the firefighters in the home.

The gunman "is demanding the cable be turned on by 5:30," the speaker said, adding, "the person demands full cable, Internet -- and what, sir? -- and telephone, please," the official said. "I need to give you a telephone number, and it's a Verizon carrier, and the phone needs to be reactivated within" -- he stops as someone speaks -- "within one hour, and I will give you the phone number. This will be his communication from him to whoever is outside."

Firefighters from a local station were apparently responding to a medical call at the home, officials told reporters at a televised news briefing.

“They began to do what they do every day when they were taken hostage," Gwinnett County Department of Fire and Emergency Services spokesman Thomas Rutledge said.

Officials have not released a possible motive.

“It’s a very touchy situation at this point, and anything could happen," Gwinnett County Police spokesman E.J. Ritter said.


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