SUWANEE, GA -- The five firefighters held hostage in Suwanee last week spoke for the first time since the nearly four-hour ordeal.
At a press conference Tuesday, they said the call started as a normal one and they suspected nothing was wrong.
Several minutes into the medical call, the suspect, Lauren Brown, took off his blood pressure cuff, pulled a gun and told the firefighters it was time to explain the "real reason" they were there.
Firefighter Hollingsworth said Brown told them he had family and money problems, and wanted certain people to see what was happening and "live their lives with guilt."
The firefighters said they joked around with Brown to keep the situation calm. Brown told them he had been planning it for weeks, and they joked if that was true, why hadn't he made them coffee.
Hollingsworth said they used the joke about making coffee to get some of the firefighters out of the room.
Throughout the standoff, they kept reassuring Brown they were on his side and wanted to do whatever they could to help him.
Hollingsworth said the firefighters did things several times to position themselves close to Brown to overtake him, but they did not because they didn't know if he had other weapons or explosives.
Hollingsworth said Brown kept saying he had planned for everything and he had surprises for people on the outside.
Hollingsworth also said Brown had a number of weapons including some older ones, in addition to keeping his hand on the trigger and the gun pointed at the firefighters at all times.
The firefighters were communicating with SWAT and police through text messages and learned they were about to enter the house. They said they walked to areas in the home to get out of the way and disconnected the cable so Brown couldn't see what was happening on TV.
Gwinnett Police Cpl. Jake Smith said it was "genius" to do that and the crew was "good hostages."