Ga. Hostage Standoff Ends Peacefully
STATESBORO, Ga. – A man and a woman who took an attorney hostage and told authorities they were armed with an explosive device surrendered Tuesday, more than 24 hours after the standoff started, police said.
Suspects Robert Eugene Brower, 43, and his wife Connie came out of the downtown building where they were holding attorney Michael Hostilo around 9:30 a.m., said Larry Schnall, a spokesman for the Georgia State Patrol.
The standoff, which started Monday morning, ended peacefully, Schnall said.
Brower and his wife were taken into custody and would face one charge of kidnapping, chief of police Stan York said. The investigation is ongoing, he added.
York said police found an explosive device of a "pyrotechnic type." He did not elaborate. FOX reporters on the scene said bomb crews apparently detonated an explosive device on the scene after the standoff ended.
Violence erupted earlier in the day when two suspects briefly walked out of the building before resuming their confrontation with police.
The two became apprehensive and made a threatening gesture toward law enforcement officers, which prompted an exchange of gunfire, Schnall said.
The suspects then ran back into the building and authorities resumed negotiations with them, he said.
In a news conference Monday night, York said Brower was angry about having been convicted in a criminal case in which the lawyer was his court-appointed attorney.
"Brower is 'seeking justice' for past crimes for which he was convicted — and for which he feels he is innocent," York said.
"He's gonna get his day in court," York said Tuesday.
There were initially three hostages, but two were released unharmed, said Maggie Fitzgerald, a city spokeswoman.
Statesboro, a city of 22,000 that is home to Georgia Southern University, is 225 miles southeast of Atlanta. The community's Martin Luther King Day parade, which was to pass by the county courthouse near the scene, was canceled because of the standoff.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.