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Gunman Holding Firefighters Killed; 4 Hostages OK [VIDEO]

A gunman in suburban Atlanta is dead after authorities say he held four firefighters hostage for several hours Wednesday.

Aerial view of home where firefighers are being held hostage
Aerial view of home where firefighers are being held hostage (WSB TV)

The man was shot dead when SWAT teams stormed the house.

The hostages sustained minor injuries when officers set off explosions to distract the gunman before moving in.

“The explosion you heard was used to distract the suspect, to get into the house and take care of business,” said Gwinnett County Police Cpl. Edwin Ritter in a news conference minutes after the resolution. He said the situation had gotten to the point where authorities believed the lives of the hostages were in “immediate danger.”

Authorities say the gunman had financial problems and had demanded that his cable and power be turned back on.

One SWAT team member was shot in the hand or arm but was OK afterward, and firefighters suffered only minor injuries, authorities said.

Gwinnett County police on Wednesday night didn’t immediately release the name of the dead man or discussing details of the operation. However, the firefighters and a wounded police officer were treated at a nearby hospital and in good condition. Some had already gone home.

“In talking to the firefighters and their families just now, they’re relieved,” Gwinnett County Fire Capt. Tommy Rutledge said at a news conference late Wednesday outside the hospital, according to video posted by Atlanta station WSB-TV. “They’re simply relieved that the situation is over, that their family members are with them and that they’re safe.”

He went on to say “firefighters are resilient people and so they’re brave and they’re daring and they have a passion to help people” and that the five will be back on the job when they’re able to.

A spokeswoman for Gwinnett Medical Center said Wednesday night that five firefighters and a wounded police officer were treated at the hospital and all were in good condition.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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