Gwinnett police kill gunman holding firefighters hostage

Fire Captain Tommy Rutledge: "We are just fortunate the police officers involved and our firefighters are going to be okay"

Police have shot dead a gunman holding four firefighters hostage in a house outside the US city of Atlanta.

The firefighters suffered minor injuries from stun grenades armed police threw in the rescue raid.

One officer was shot in the hand or arm in the gunfight with the captor, who had demanded his electricity and telephone service be restored.

The firefighters were taken to hospital but were expected to be released later on Wednesday evening, police said.

On Wednesday afternoon, five Gwinnett County firefighters responded to what appeared to be a medical emergency but were taken hostage by the gunman, whom police have not yet identified.

A police officer holds a rifle in Suwanee, Georgia 10 April 2013 A heavily armed police Swat team used a grenade to distract the gunman and gain entry

The hostage taker released one firefighter and ordered him to move the fire truck away from his house.

The gunman appeared to have financial difficulties that led to the shut-off of his electric power and telephone service, Cpl Edwin Ritter of the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office told reporters.

After hours of unsuccessful negotiations, a Swat team of heavily armed police officers took action.

"We believed that their lives were in immediate danger and our Swat team made the decision to go in there and neutralise the situation," Cpl Ritter said.

"This was his call, his decision, the result of his actions. We didn't want it this way."

More on This Story

More US & Canada stories


Features & Analysis

  • Dr Mahinder Watsa Dr Sex

    The wisecracking 90-year-old whose advice column is a cult hit

  • Payton McKinnonKilling heat

    Why so many American children die in hot cars

  • USA fanSoccer punch

    Has the US finally fallen in love with the beautiful game? BBC Sport

  • Cooling towers at the Temelin nuclear power station, Czech Republic, 2011Nuclear links

    The EU's dependence on Russian-designed power plants

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Kyoto.Falling for Kyoto

    Acclaimed writer Pico Iyer describes an enchanting first stroll through the city


  • (File photo) Usain BoltClick Watch

    Challenging the world's fastest man to a virtual race over 40m – can you keep up?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.