Man who held hostages at Atlanta-area bank killed, police say
Atlanta (CNN) – A man who said he had a bomb when he held two hostages at a bank in the Atlanta area was killed, authorities announced Friday.
The Georgia Office of Investigation identified the suspect as Brian Easley, 33.
Easley had entered the Wells Fargo bank branch near Marietta and told the negotiators by telephone that he had a bomb in a backpack, said Michael Registrar, the Cobb County Chief of Police.
He did not try to rob the bank, said Registry, but claims that he is a military veteran and wanted complaints with “military entities”. Registry did not specify the complaints.
Clients were allowed out but Easley selected two employees as hostages, public information officer D. L., Pierce said.
WAGA reported that a SWAT armored vehicle drove to the bank gate around noon and agents entered and released the hostages. Around 10 shots were heard after the hostages escaped, WAGA said.
Pierce has characterized human death as a shot involving an officer.
“(The death of the suspect) is not something we want to happen, but unfortunately for the preservation of life, sometimes it becomes necessary,” he said.
After the man died, the backpack was taken to another place and destroyed. Police did not say if there was a bomb in the backpack.
Police were called to the area around 9:30 am by a man who has “made general threats,” said Cobb County Police spokeswoman Alicia Chilton. Registry said the man had complaints about “military entities”.
Easley said he had a bomb and said it was containing at least two people in the building, said FBI spokesman Steve Emmett. The man described his “bomb” to have enough explosive strength to give us a concern not only for the construction, but also for its surroundings, “said Registro.
Police arrived outside the bank, which is located on Windy Hill Road, northwest of Atlanta, and several nearby highways were closed.
Later, a man claiming to be the abductor calls affiliate WSB-TV CNN.
He went to one of the stations editors missions for more than 30 minutes, saying he was a homeless veteran who completed two times in Iraq with a supply company and had no money to buy food, WSB said.
There were conflicting reports of how the incident ended.
Shortly after noon, Cobb County Police spokesman Pierce said all those who had been in the bank with the man were released unharmed.
The suspect remained inside, and police were trying to determine what was happening in the bank, Pierce said.
But Record said the police chief Friday before police had entered the building to try to save two hostages, which resulted in the death of the suspect.
“We felt it was an opportunity for the two hostages, and we certainly took advantage of this opportunity … depending on the danger that we think they were,” said Registro.
When Registrar announced the suspect’s death at around 1:45 pm ET, he said the nearby buildings were still blocked because investigators were trying to determine if there was a bomb in the bank.
A nearby restaurant Chick-fil-A was one of the establishments closed because of the situation in the bank, said the manager of Hailey Vines.