clear
Wednesday May 6th, 2015 12:49PM

Gwinnett firefighters describe ordeal as hostages

By The Associated Press
ATLANTA - A group of Gwinnett County firefighters say they joked with a gunman in an attempt to lighten the mood during an hours-long hostage ordeal earlier this month.

The firefighters on Tuesday recounted the April 10 ordeal for the first time during a news conference in Gwinnett County.

Police say Lauren Brown, 55, faked chest pains to lure the firefighters to his home in Suwanee.

The firefighters said Tuesday that shortly after they arrived at his home, he explained ``the real reason'' for them being there. They said he told them he had been planning the hostage situation for four to six weeks, and that he targeted firefighters because he knew they would be unarmed.

At times during the ordeal, Brown became ``very agitated,'' said one of the firefighters, Tim Hollingsworth.

But the firefighters said they were able to calm him down by doing such things as changing the subject of the conversation, Hollingsworth said.

After several hours, a S.W.A.T. team stormed the house and killed Brown.

``He said he had family problems, he had financial problems, said that he wanted certain people to see what was happening so they would live the rest of their lives with guilt,'' Hollingsworth said, declining to elaborate.

Brown had worked for IBM, but described himself as disabled when he filed for bankruptcy protection in 2002, according to court documents. He reported that he owed more than $100,000 to Home Depot, banks and credit card companies. The records suggest Brown was tapping into his retirement savings to make ends meet. A series of tax liens had been placed on his home, which slipped into foreclosure in recent months.
© Copyright 2015 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Ethics laws set to take effect Jan. 1 in Georgia
After dominating much of the legislative session, a set of major ethics reforms is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.
7:04PM ( 1 year ago )
Sex offender held in Hall County for failing to register
A 47-year-old man was booked into the Hall County Jail Tuesday, being held without bond for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender, his second such arrest.
6:09PM ( 1 year ago )
Pharmacy robberies may involve same suspect
Oakwood Police Tuesday afternoon released details in a pharmacy robbery they're investigating, similar to one that happened in the Hall County Tuesday morning.
5:46PM ( 1 year ago )
Local/State News
Former House Speaker Jim Wright dies at age 92
DALLAS (AP) — Former U.S. House Speaker Jim Wright, the longtime Texas Democrat who became the first House speaker in history to be driven out of office in midterm, has died. He was 92.The World War I...
12:40PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Fire destroys Jackson Co. home
A Jackson County family lost everything in a house fire Tuesday afternoon, according to EMS Director Steve Nichols.
11:59AM ( 50 minutes ago )
Barnard, Mills re-elected chair, vice chair of Parole Board
The Georgia State Board of Pardons and Parole announced Tuesday that Terry E. Barnard was re-elected as chairman and James Mills of Hall County as vice chairman for 2016
By Associated Press
11:15AM ( 1 hour ago )
Survey: Hiring by US businesses slows sharply in April
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. companies hired in April at the slowest pace in nearly a year and a half, a private survey found, as the strong dollar dragged down overseas sales and energy companies cut back...
9:41AM ( 3 hours ago )
Body located on Britt Whitmire Road in Hall County
Hall County authorities are investigating after a body was located Tuesday night in north Hall.
11:32PM ( 13 hours ago )