Gunman holding firefighters killed; 4 hostages OK - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Gunman holding firefighters killed; 4 hostages OK

Posted: Updated:
SUWANEE, Ga. -

A gunman who held four firefighters for hours in a suburban Atlanta home was shot dead by SWAT members and all the hostages are slightly injured but should be OK, authorities said Wednesday.

Minutes before the police announcement, one big explosion followed by several smaller ones or gunshots were heard in the Suwanee neighborhood about 35 miles northeast of Atlanta. A SWAT officer was shot in the hand or arm, but should be fine, said Gwinnett County Police Cpl. Edwin Ritter.

The firefighters mainly suffered cuts and bruises in the explosion that authorities used to distract the suspect before they rushed the house, said fire department Capt. Tommy Rutledge.

Ritter said the gunman, who has not been identified, demanded his power and cable be turned back on. According to public records, the home is in foreclosure and has been bank-owned since mid-November.

"It's an unfortunate circumstance we did not want this to end this way," Ritter said. "But with the decisions this guy was making, this was his demise."

Five firefighters responded to what seemed like a routine medical call and were eventually taken hostage by an unidentified suspect inside the house, Ritter said. The gunman released one of the firefighters to move a fire truck.

The gunman's motive was unclear to police and fire officials. SWAT team members had surrounded the home and a hostage negotiator had been in contact with the suspect.

Rutledge said the medical call seemed routine and firefighters did not believe there was any danger. One engine and one ambulance responded.

"Our firefighters responded to a call they respond to hundreds of times, and that's a medical emergency," he said.

The explosion rocked the neighborhood of mostly two-story homes and well-kept lawns and set off car alarms all over.

Two ambulances could be seen leaving.

  • Virginia Cares gives employers incentive to hire ex-offenders

    Virginia Cares gives employers incentive to hire ex-offenders

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 7:56 AM EDT2014-08-20 11:56:46 GMT
    Virginia Cares is seeing success with a program that places ex-offenders into new jobs. Looking Forward gives employers a key incentive to hire ex-offenders.
    Virginia Cares is seeing success with a program that places ex-offenders into new jobs. Looking Forward gives employers a key incentive to hire ex-offenders.
  • Bedford Ride thrives despite lack of state, federal money

    Bedford Ride thrives despite lack of state, federal money

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 7:20 AM EDT2014-08-20 11:20:43 GMT
    Four years ago, Bedford Ride lost its federal funding, which accounted for 50 percent of the operating budget. Then the state funding dried up as well.But since then, the program has found new resources through grants, donations and a greater commitment from Bedford County and the Town of Bedford.
    Four years ago, Bedford Ride lost its federal funding, which accounted for 50 percent of the operating budget. Then the state funding dried up as well.But since then, the program has found new resources through grants, donations and a greater commitment from Bedford County and the Town of Bedford.
  • New online tool helps you keep up with vehicle recalls

    New online tool helps you keep up with vehicle recalls

    New online tool helps you keep up with vehicle recalls

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 6:23 AM EDT2014-08-20 10:23:48 GMT
    (WSLS) -- If you've ever wondered whether your car -- or one you're looking to buy -- is on a recall list, the U.S. Department of Transportation is unveiling a brand new search tool to find out.
    (WSLS) -- If you've ever wondered whether your car -- or one you're looking to buy -- is on a recall list, the U.S. Department of Transportation is unveiling a brand new search tool to find out.
Powered by WorldNow

WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
Roanoke, VA 24022-0010

Telephone: 540.981.9110
Fax: 540.343.3157
Email: news@wsls.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.