Firefighters Okay After Kidnapping Near Atlanta

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By Andrew Lu on April 11, 2013 1:18 PM

A man experiencing financial distress held four firefighters hostage in suburban Atlanta in an apparent attempt to get his utilities, phone, and cable turned back on.

The unidentified man reportedly called authorities claiming that he was suffering a heart attack at his Suwanee home. But when the firefighters arrived at the suburban home, they were taken hostage instead, reports CNN.

Authorities were able to deal swiftly with the hostage situation. After determining that the firefighters' lives were in danger, they created a diversion and killed the kidnapper.

The firefighters are said to have suffered superficial injuries and one law enforcement officer was shot in the incident, reports CNN. However, none of them sustained life-threatening injuries.

The firefighters had responded to a call from the recently foreclosed home that was being prepared for sale. It's not clear if this precipitated the kidnapping and hostage situation, but the former home owner reportedly made demands related to the home.

Hostage negotiators were on site, but officials say that they believed the situation had turned for the worse and decided to take lethal action. Had the kidnapper not been killed, he likely would have faced a host of felony charges. Some of the charges he could have faced include:

  1. False Report. The man claimed to have been suffering a heart attack, but that was likely a ruse to get emergency personnel into his home so that he could hold them hostage.
  2. Kidnapping. Holding four firefighters against their will with threats of physical harm or through use of a deadly weapon could have resulted in very serious felony charges.
  3. Attempted Murder. In the ensuing gun battle, the kidnapper reportedly shot a law enforcement officer. An argument may be made that the man shot to kill.

Because the unidentified man was killed, criminal charges will obviously not be filed.

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