clear
Wednesday May 27th, 2015 8:06PM

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.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
Gainesville police: Alleged assailant in custody
A Lithia Springs man is in custody for reportedly sexually assaulting a Gainesville woman.
4:50PM ( 3 hours ago )
Elachee announces new Resource Manager
A new Natural Resources Manager is on the job at the Elachee Nature Science Center in Hall County.
By Submitted
3:40PM ( 4 hours ago )
Hall C. BOE sets public hearings for budget; board to ask for tax increase
As the Hall County School Board prepares to adopt its upcoming budget, three public hearings have been scheduled, and the Board plans to ask for a property tax increase to restore some funding lost during the economic downturn.
3:01PM ( 5 hours ago )
Baseball: GHS falls to Greenbrier in Game 3
In the end, it was wasn’t worth the wait...
2:45PM ( 5 hours ago )
Authorities charge man with kidnapping, other offenses after chase into Lake Lanier
Forsyth County authorities have charged a man with kidnapping, false imprisonment and a list of other charges after they chased him and caught him in Lake Lanier Monday night.
2:30PM ( 5 hours ago )