Police: Hostage taker gave us no choice


By CNN Staff

(CNN) — The man who took firefighters hostage in suburban Atlanta was suffering from financial problems and a debilitating medical condition, police told reporters Thursday.

But authorities said they were not comfortable saying what exactly caused the man, identified Thursday by police as Lauren Holman Brown, to lure firefighters to his home with complaints of chest pain, then take them hostage.

Brown died Wednesday when police stormed the house in Suwanee, Georgia — about 30 miles north of Atlanta — after concluding he was unlikely to release his hostages safely, Gwinnett County Police Chief Charles Walters told reporters.

Police, communicating with Brown through a firefighter’s radio, had given Brown food and restored electricity and cable television service to his foreclosed house, Walters said.

“He gave us nothing,” Walters said.

Based on Brown’s demeanor and his communications with negotiators, police determined they had no choice but to storm…

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