Hostage taker killed in Atlanta siege

ninemsn staff
10:38am April 11, 2013
April 11, 2013: There has been a violent end to US siege in which four firefighters were taken hostage with police shooting and killing the suspect.

A siege in the US came to a violent end when a gunman holding four firefighters hostage was shot dead during a police raid at an Atlanta property.

The standoff began around 3.40pm (5.40am AEDT) on Wednesday afternoon when firefighters responded to a call in Gwinnett County.

Gwinnett County police spokesman Ed Ritter said the crew were sent out "for some type of medical call", adding that the firefighters are also trained as paramedics and can respond to such situations.

Gwinnett County Fire Department spokesman Thomas Rutledge said "there was no indication or any reason to believe that there would be a violent situation".

Witnesses said the crew entered the home together and one man ran out of the two-storey building half an hour later.

Mr Rutledge said five firefighters were initially held as hostages, but one was released late in the afternoon so he could move the fire truck that was parked in front of the gunman's home.

Up to 50 police officers, including SWAT teams, then surrounded the area.

Explosions were heard around 7.30pm and an ambulance was seen leaving the scene a short time later.

Mr Ritter announced that the gunman had been killed when police burst into the property.

One police officer was shot in the raid, but his injury is not considered life-threatening. The four liberated firefghters suffered minor injuries.

Sources: CNN, AP

Author: Martin Zavan, Approving editor: Mark Worley

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