TV News Crew ‘Held Hostage’ for 90 Minutes by Man Saying He Had Gun

A TV news crew from Atlanta News First was held hostage on Monday, Dec. 11, 2023. (Credit: Atlanta News First)

A TV news crew in Atlanta was held hostage for 90 minutes by a homeless man who claimed he was armed with a gun, and would open fire if they tried to get help.

Atlanta News First reporter Asia Wilson and photojournalist Lauren Swaim were about to do a live report from the parking lot of the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office at 11 p.m. on Monday (Dec. 11),  in Jonesboro, Georgia, when the man approached them.

The station did a news report on the horrifying ordeal and said the women “discreetly” sent “bone-chilling” text messages to colleagues back at the station, pleading for help.

“It was just things like sporadic, not even complete sentences like, ‘We need help. We’re scared. He’s going to shoot,'” Allen Devlin, a news anchor at the station, explained in the news report.

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Station employees alerted authorities, who did not immediately respond. Assignment editor Gary Stilwell then called 911.

An officer called Stilwell back, saying he’d made contact with a man and a woman at the location and they were safe.

“I was like, ‘Time out. It’s a two-female crew. There shouldn’t be a man in the equation,” Stilwell explained.

Three station employees then hopped in a car for the 20-minute drive to the location. They flagged down a police officer on the way, who was able to safely rescue the two women.

The suspect, identified as local homeless man Brandon R. Logan, was arrested and charged with making terroristic threats, false imprisonment, public drunkenness, obstructing/hindering an emergency phone call, simple battery, simple assault, and loitering or prowling.

Logan made his first court appearance Wednesday and a judge set bond at $11,000.

The station is now demanding answers as to why local authorities were so slow to respond.

Meantime, police released a statement Wednesday, claiming officers “quickly responded” to the location. The department added that no weapon was found at the scene and Logan was taken into custody “without incident.”