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Gunman dead after holding four firefighters hostage in suburban Atlanta

A gunman took four firefighters hostage outside Atlanta, Ga., Wednesday as they were responding to what they thought was a routine emergency. All four are safe with minor injuries and the gunman is dead after a standoff.

A gunman who was holding four firefighters hostage outside of Atlanta was killed during a tactical operation, police said Wednesday.

Following a standoff, the Gwinnett County Police Department SWAT team entered the residence where a barricaded gunman was holding four firefighters hostage in Suwanee, Ga.

The gunman had taken five firefighters hostage but allowed one of them to leave to move the fire truck, police said.

As officers entered the home, a small explosion could be heard. Officials later said it was used to distract the suspect. The sound of gunfire followed.

One officer suffered a non life-threatening injury in the exchange, and the four firefighters have "superficial wounds," Gwinnett County Police Cpl. Edwin Ritter said. It is believed the suspect was killed by gunfire, he said.

The firefighters responded to a medical call with one fire truck and an ambulance around 3:41 p.m., police said. They came from a nearby station, officials said, and they were trained as both emergency medical technicians and paramedics.

NBC station WXIA reported that the house where the firefighters were being held hostage was foreclosed on in November and is currently bank-owned.

Ritter said that once the firefighters were taken hostage, the suspect demanded his power, cable and cell phone be turned on.

Suwanee is a suburban community about 35 miles northeast of Atlanta.

John Bazemore / AP

A police officer clears a path for an ambulance after an explosion and gunshots were heard near the scene where a man was holding four firefighters hostage in Suwanee, Ga., on Wednesday.


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