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Ga. firefighters taken hostage tried lightening mood with jokes

The firefighters were able to calm the suspect down by joking and changing the subject of conversation when he got agitated

Associated Press

ATLANTA — Georgia firefighters taken hostage after being lured to a home on what they thought would be a medical call say they joked with the gunman in an attempt to lighten the mood.

Tim Hollingsworth, one of the four firefighters taken hostage nearly a week ago, spoke at a news conference Tuesday for the first time since the hours-long ordeal. He says the gunman, 55-year-old Lauren Brown, became agitated at times. But the firefighters were able to calm him down by joking and changing the subject of conversation.

Hollingsworth says Brown told the group he targeted firefighters because he knew they would be unarmed.

Brown, who was killed when SWAT officers stormed the home northeast of Atlanta, had gone into foreclosure and had financial problems.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press

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