Twitter Buttons

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Georgia Police Used Large Bomb To Enter Suspects House With Hostage Firefighters Inside.

All Of The FireFighter Hostages Injured By Police Bomb

Apparently Law Enforcement Detonated A Constructed Satchel Bomb, Blowing Suspects House Apart and Damaging Adjoining Neighbors Homes.

What Police described as a Stun Bang Device Destroyed Side Of House And Severely  Damaged Neighboring Home.

Police near the scene where a man is said to be holding four Gwinnett County firefighters hostage in Suwanee, Ga.

Photo Credit: AP
"The explosion you heard was used to distract the suspect, to get into the house and take care of business," Gwinnett County Police Cpl. Edwin Ritter
Exposed wooden beams could be seen through a gaping hole in the side of the house Thursday and debris littered the yard. Public records indicate the red brick house with white siding is in foreclosure and has been bank-owned since mid-November.

Jasmin Gutierez, 12, was at home with her family in that house Wednesday afternoon. They huddled in the master bedroom at the other end of the house.
Then an explosion ripped through the yard, tearing into their house, they heard a loud explosion and then they heard shooting and black smoke started to fill their home and police knocked on the door to make sure they were all right.
Residents unable to get into their neighborhood detained behind the police cordon flinched and recoiled when the enormous blast went off.
A dispatch tape released by several local TV stations recorded one of the firefighters explaining what was happening inside the house as the incident began to unfold.
"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," said the fireman, who was not identified. "And he is armed, and we are in the room with him."

The fireman said Brown had multiple handguns and rifles in the home.

Police said Brown gave them short deadlines for his utilities to be restored, and several of the demands were met as part of the negotiations with him.

But as the hours passed, Brown refused to release his four remaining hostages.

"He was not negotiating, he was demanding," Walters said, adding Brown never made his ultimate goals clear.

The chief said SWAT officers initiated the rescue after negotiators determined Brown would not release the firefighters even if all his requests were met.

One of Brown's final demands would prove his undoing. After asking for food to be delivered to the house, he allowed two hostages to leave the bedroom to accept it from an officer.

When the firefighters opened the front door, police swarmed inside, detonated diversion devices and killed Brown, they said.

Police said they found six guns in the home. The incident remains under investigation.


Cops: Ga. Man Planned Firefighters' Kidnapping for Weeks

KATE BRUMBACK
ASSOCIATED PRESS

SUWANEE, Ga. (AP) — A gunman who lured firefighters to his home with an emergency call, then held four of them hostage for hours, planned the kidnapping for weeks, targeting them so he wouldn't be shot, authorities said Thursday.

Lauren Brown, 55, was heavily armed with a half-dozen guns in his house, police said. The financially strapped man whose power, cable and other utilities had been cut off because of non-payment demanded they be restored but made no attempt to negotiate as he held hostages in his suburban Atlanta home Wednesday.

Brown called 911 and said he was suffering from chest pains, and five Gwinnett County firefighters arrived at 3:48, believing it was a routine call, said Police Chief Charles Walters. Brown was lying in bed and appeared to be suffering from a condition that left him unable to move. But when they approached the bed to help him, he pulled out a handgun, Walters said.

He let one go to move the vehicles from the front of his house but kept the other four.

That began a 3½ -hour standoff. At about 7:30, police were convinced that even if they met Brown's demands, he had no intention of releasing his hostages, Walters said.

Brown had requested items from a fast food seafood restaurant for himself and his hostages, and a SWAT officer carrying the food approached the house in Suwannee, about 35 miles northeast of Atlanta.

Other SWAT members set off a stun blast to distract Brown and stormed the house. Brown opened fire on the first officer as he entered the bedroom. The man was hit in the left arm by one of the shots, but managed to return fire, killing Brown. Before Brown fired, police told him to drop his weapon, Walters said.

Exposed wooden beams could be seen through a gaping hole in the side of the house Thursday and debris littered the yard. Public records indicate the red brick house with white siding is in foreclosure and has been bank-owned since mid-November.

Brown suffered a series of personal setbacks over the years. He had separated from his wife by the time he filed for bankruptcy protection in 2002, according to federal court records. Then a consultant for IBM, Brown reported owing more than $100,000 to the Home Depot, banks and credit card companies. The records suggest that he was taping into his retirement savings to make ends meet.

His financial situation remained rocky. Records show state and federal tax collectors filed a series of liens on Brown's home in the years since.

Next to Brown's home, another brick house with tan siding next door appeared to have even more damage. A large area of the side was missing, again with wooden beams and insulation exposed.

Jasmin Gutierez, 12, was at home with her family in that house Wednesday afternoon. They huddled in the master bedroom at the other end of the house.

"We started, like, at least trying to get in a group hug to save ourselves because we got scared," she said. "I mean there was a lot of people, like the SWAT teams and the police."

After a while, they heard a loud bang and then they heard shooting and black smoke started to fill their home and police knocked on the door to make sure they were all right.

After the hostage-taking was reported, dozens of police and rescue vehicles surrounded the home and a negotiator was keeping in touch with the gunman, police said. The situation remained tense until the blast rocked the neighborhood of mostly two-story homes and well-kept lawns. Residents unable to get into their neighborhood because of the police cordon flinched and recoiled when the enormous blast went off."

The explosion you heard was used to distract the suspect, to get into the house and take care of business," Gwinnett County Police Cpl. Edwin Ritter said in a news conference minutes after the ordeal ended. He said the situation had gotten to the point where authorities believed the lives of the hostages were in "immediate danger."

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

Firefighters were able to use their radios to let the dispatch center know what was going on and that's how negotiators communicated with Brown initially, Walters said. Once they got his cellphone service turned back on, they were able to speak to him by phone.

Fire officials did not believe there was any danger in responding to the initial call that seemed routine and dispatched the usual one engine and one ambulance to the house.

This was the second time in recent months that firefighters have been targeted.

On Dec. 24, a man in upstate New York set his house ablaze and shot and killed two firefighters as they arrived, then himself. Two other firefighters and a police officer were wounded.
---------------------

Georgia hostage-taker targeted firefighters with medical callBy David Beasley | Reuters


ATLANTA (Reuters) - A Georgia man told five firefighters that he took them hostage at gunpoint on Wednesday instead of police because he knew they would be unarmed, police said on Thursday.

Lauren Brown, 55, died in a gunfight with a police officer who was trying to rescue the firefighters at Brown's home in suburban Atlanta after a standoff that lasted nearly four hours, police said.

Brown called 911 complaining of chest pains. The firefighters who responded found him in bed, appearing to suffer from a condition that restricted his movement, Gwinnett County Police Chief Charles Walters said in a news conference on Thursday.

Brown then aimed a handgun at the firefighters and demanded that they help get utilities to restore his electricity, cable television and cell phone service.

The ensuing standoff with police, followed by the shootout that freed the firefighters, rattled the well-groomed neighborhood of two-story homes that residents described as safe and quiet.

Police said Brown, who got up from the bed but never left his bedroom, fired at the first officer to enter the room and hit him in the arm. The wounded officer fired back, killing Brown, a divorced father of at least two children.

The officer underwent surgery on Thursday for his injury, police said. Four of the firefighters also received minor injuries from an explosive device the police used to disorient the suspect during the rescue.

Brown had earlier released a fifth firefighter to move a fire truck from the front of his home, officials said.

Brown, who lived alone, had been in the house for about 10 years, police said. The home was in foreclosure, local media reported, and an eviction order was issued on March 15, said Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department Captain Barry Milliner.

Brown's utility accounts had been deactivated due to unpaid bills, police said.

STAND-OFF PLANNED FOR WEEKS

Police Corporal Jake Smith said officers had been to Brown's home about a dozen times in the past decade, usually for minor calls such as code violations and animal complaints. He was arrested last year for failing to appear in court for a traffic offense, Smith said.

On Wednesday, Brown told the firefighters, who are also trained as paramedics, that he had been planning to take hostages for several weeks, police said.

A dispatch tape released by several local TV stations recorded one of the firefighters explaining what was happening inside the house as the incident began to unfold.

"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," said the fireman, who was not identified. "And he is armed, and we are in the room with him."

The fireman said Brown had multiple handguns and rifles in the home.

Police said Brown gave them short deadlines for his utilities to be restored, and several of the demands were met as part of the negotiations with him.

But as the hours passed, Brown refused to release his four remaining hostages.

"He was not negotiating, he was demanding," Walters said, adding Brown never made his ultimate goals clear.

The chief said SWAT officers initiated the rescue after negotiators determined Brown would not release the firefighters even if all his requests were met.

One of Brown's final demands would prove his undoing. After asking for food to be delivered to the house, he allowed two hostages to leave the bedroom to accept it from an officer.

When the firefighters opened the front door, police swarmed inside, detonated diversion devices and killed Brown, they said.

Police said they found six guns in the home. The incident remains under investigation.
Sources: 

Twitter links

-
****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
View blog top tags
---------------------
CLICK HERE TO GO BACK TO TOP OF CALIFORNIA FIRE NEWS HOME PAGE