FOX 5 has confirmed the name of the man, who police say, held Gwinnett County firefighters hostage for hours on Wednesday. Police say 55-year-old Lauren Brown was the gunman, and apparently had been planning the incident for weeks.
Brown lived alone, and apparently inherited the home and other debt last year. The home went into foreclosure soon after, according to FOX 5’s Chris Shaw. Police said on Wednesday he was apparently suffering financial difficulties and was demanding to have his power and other utilities turned restored.
Authorities say Brown told the hostages he had been planning for weeks, and wanted family members to witness the incident. They say he chose firefighters because he knew they would not have guns.
Police say that the incident began after firefighters responded to the home in the 2400 block of Walnut Grove Way in Suwanee after Brown called 911, saying he was having chest pains, at around 3:40 p.m. When firefighters responded, they found Brown in bed in his bedroom and he pulled a gun on them. One of the firefighters was released so he could move a fire truck at the scene. He held the others hostage at gunpoint for nearly four hours.
During negotiations, police say they determined that Brown would not release the hostages even if his demands were met. Gwinnett County SWAT was sent into the home after firing concussion grenades as a diversion so they could get to Brown without injuring the firefighters.
Police say Brown shot at the first SWAT officer who came into his bedroom. The officer returned fire, killing Brown.
Authorities say the firefighters held hostage suffered minor injuries during the incident, and were transported to Gwinnett Medical Center. They were treated and released.
A Lawrenceville police officer was injured while the SWAT team went into the home. He was treated at the scene and transported to Gwinnett Medical Center. Authorities say the officer is expected to make a full recovery.
Authorities say they found six guns in home, and that Brown never expressed a clear motive or desire for taking firefighters hostage. The incident remains under investigation.