A group of Gwinnett County firefighters held hostage by a gunman talked about their ordeal on Tuesday. They spoke publicly from Gwinnett fire headquarters for the first time since the incident last week in a Suwanee neighborhood.
“The person took his blood pressure cuff off and brandished a weapon, pointed the gun at us, and told us that now it was time for the real reason that we were there,” said Gwinnett County fire driver and engineer, Tim Hollingsworth.
Gwinnett firefighter Jody Moss helped bring in a stretcher.
“I lowered the stretcher down. I heard the perp, or the gentleman that was on the bed, say, “I hate to do this, but now for the real reason why you’re here,’ and that’s when he pulled the pistol out,” said Moss.
Firefighter Hollingsworth said Brown told them he had family and money problems, and wanted certain people to see what was happening and “live their lives with guilt.”
The firefighters said they joked around with Brown to keep the situation calm. Brown told them he had been planning it for weeks, and they joked if that was true, why hadn’t he made them coffee.
Hollingsworth said they used the joke about making coffee to get some of the firefighters out of the room.
Throughout the standoff, they kept reassuring Brown they were on his side and wanted to do whatever they could to help him.
Hollingsworth said the firefighters did things several times to position themselves close to Brown to overtake him, but they did not because they didn’t know if he had other weapons or explosives.
The firefighters were communicating with SWAT and police through text messages and learned they were about to enter the house. They said they walked to areas in the home to get out of the way and disconnected the cable so Brown couldn’t see what was happening on TV.
Gwinnett Police Cpl. Jake Smith said it was “genius” to do that and the crew was “good hostages.”
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