UPDATE: Suspect Dead. His motive was that he wanted his electricity turned back on, which was turned off for non payment.
DEVELOPING: SUWANEE, Ga. — A gunman barricaded himself in a home in suburban Atlanta and was holding four firefighters hostage Wednesday afternoon, authorities in northeast Georgia said.
Five firefighters responded to a medical call in Suwanee and were eventually taken hostage by an unidentified suspect inside the house, Gwinnett County Police Cpl. Edwin Ritter said. The gunman released one of the firefighters from the house to move a fire truck.
A SWAT team and negotiator had made contact with the suspect Wednesday evening. Ritter said the immediate area around the house has been evacuated and residents were not being allowed into the neighborhood.
Officials were hopeful for a peaceful resolution. Fire department Capt. Tommy Rutledge said the medical call seemed routine and firefighters did not believe there was any danger.
Rutledge said there was no indication to believe any of the firefighters had been harmed. ”They were doing what they do everyday,” he said. “Our firefighters responded to a call they respond to hundreds of times, and that’s a medical emergency.”
The gunman’s motive was unclear to police, but a Fox News source said the gunman was apparently upset because his house is in foreclosure and the utilities had been turned off, so he made the 911 call to lure firefighters to the house.
Ritter said firefighters on Wednesday responded to a medical call in Suwanee and were taken hostage by a suspect he didn’t identify. He said information on a possible motive was not immediately available and a SWAT team is on the scene.
Television helicopter footage showed police and fire trucks surrounding the neighborhood of mostly two-story homes and well-kept lawns about 35 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta. Authorities have asked media not to send any helicopters into the airspace of the SWAT call, according to MyFoxAtlanta.com.
Suwanee is about 35 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta.
Fox News’ Mike Levine and the Associated Press contributed to this report.