Gunman gives up in standoff in historic Savannah

May 17, 2012, 9:24 PM

Associated Press

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) – A gunman who jumped from a Jaguar and barricaded himself inside a landmark restaurant Thursday surrendered peacefully after a three-hour standoff that shut down part of Savannah’s 18th-century historic district.

A SWAT team in helmets and flak jackets arrested the man inside the upscale Olde Pink House restaurant. Investigators were still trying to sort out what led to the standoff, but initial details pointed to a botched kidnapping.

The chaos began just after 8 a.m. when a plainclothes officer outside a coffee shop saw the silver Jaguar jump the curb and the driver bounded out shouting, “Help me! I’m being kidnapped,” said Savannah-Chatham County police spokeswoman Gena Sullivan.

A man in the passenger seat pointed a gun at the officer, who then fired a shot at the suspect and missed. The gunman, identified by police as 26-year-old Kevin Dale Brooks, bolted and ran about three blocks to the restaurant.

The 60-year-old driver told police he was being forced to take the gunman to an ATM and withdraw money while another suspect held his son hostage. Police found the 11-year-old boy unharmed at their home and later arrested a second man who fled from the home about 3 miles from the restaurant standoff.

“There are still a lot of questions,” Sullivan said. “Detectives are still trying to piece things together.”

The confrontation caused police to shut down busy streets and manicured squares within three blocks of the Olde Pink House restaurant in a converted 18th-century mansion known for its pink stucco facade. Tourists staying directly across the street at the Planters Inn had to stay locked inside until the standoff was over.

“We were eating breakfast and about to leave when they told us we couldn’t go out,” said Barbara Garrow of San Antonio, Texas, who left the inn with a friend two hours late for a trolley tour. “We sat by a window for about half an hour and they told us we had to go upstairs to our room.”

Stephen Hines, a local technology consultant, had just parked on the third floor of a city garage overlooking the Olde Pink House on Reynolds Square. He found himself looking down on SWAT officers surrounding the entrance to an alleyway leading to the restaurant’s back door. He watched as police sent in a robot with camera, then swarmed in with bulletproof shields as one officer called out, “Suspect! Suspect!” They emerged with a man with dreadlocks and a white shirt.

“They put him their car and he was complaining about being hurt,” Hines said. “They pulled him out, took off his shirt and said, `Those are just scratches.'”

Brooks was charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault on a police officer, armed robbery and drug possession. The second suspect, 23-year-old Brian Jones, was charged with false imprisonment, armed robbery, burglary and a traffic offense. It was not known Thursday if either man had an attorney. The public defender’s office did not immediately return a phone message.

The driver of the Jaguar who alerted police was identified as Earl Hamilton. A phone number listed for him had been disconnected.

Willie Chavez, who works at the Soda Pop Shop about three blocks away, said he was getting to work at about 8 a.m. Thursday when he saw a man sprint past “like he was running for his life.”

Chavez went outside and at the end of the block saw the Jaguar rolling backward in the intersection and run into the curb. He said a man with his hair in dreadlocks bolted from the car and had a police officer chasing after him.

“The cops came quickly and took over the situation,” Chavez said. “Within 30 seconds they were all around.”

The standoff left downtown workers and tourists alike trying to find a way through streets closed off by police tape and officers turning cars and pedestrians away at intersections.

Local bankruptcy attorney Shari Smith was calling colleagues on her cellphone for help finding a route between the parking garage where she left her car and a hearing she needed to attend.

“I’m trying to weave my way to the building,” said Smith, pulling a wheeled briefcase the size of a small suitcase. “I don’t see how I’m going to get through there. It’s not a good morning.”

About an hour before the restaurant gunman surrendered, Ashlee Perkins decided to go ahead and close her business, Tier Luxury Cakes, for the day. The bakery a block from the standoff had police tape attached at the corner. Though customers could still reach the front door, Perkins said the disruption made her too late to start baking cupcakes to sell. She put out her “closed” sign at 10:30 a.m.

“I don’t think anybody’s going to be wandering down here with things the way they are,” Perkins said.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

Associated Press

Virgin Orbit rocket launches 7 US defense satellites

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Virgin Orbit rocket carrying seven U.S. Defense Department satellites was launched from a special Boeing 747 flying off the Southern California coast and streaked toward space Friday night. The modified jumbo jet took off from Mojave Air and Space Port in the Mojave Desert and released the rocket over the […]
4 hours ago
Casper Byrd, right, of Bowling Green, sits with friends as they listen to various speakers share th...
Associated Press

Texas Supreme Court blocks order that resumed abortions

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas Supreme Court blocked a lower court order late Friday night that said clinics could continue performing abortions, just days after some doctors had resumed seeing patients after the fall of Roe v. Wade. It was not immediately clear whether Texas clinics that had resumed seeing patients this week would […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Today in History: July 2, Amelia Earhart disappears

Today in History Today is Saturday, July 2, the 183rd day of 2022. There are 182 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On July 2, 1937, aviator Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan disappeared over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to make the first round-the-world flight along the equator. On this date: […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Baby’s father charged in slaying of stroller-pushing NYC mom

NEW YORK (AP) — The ex-boyfriend of a New York City woman shot dead Wednesday as she pushed their infant daughter in a stroller has been arrested and charged with killing her, police said Friday. Slain mother Azsia Johnson’s family identified suspect Isaac Argro as the baby’s father and said he routinely abused Johnson, beating […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Judge: Sheriff must post bail after anti-harassment order

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — The sheriff of Pierce County, Washington, was ordered to post $100,000 bail while he awaits trial on false-reporting charges related to his controversial confrontation last year with a Black newspaper carrier. Judge Jeffrey Jahns on Friday imposed the bail — 10 times the amount requested by prosecutors — during a hearing […]
1 day ago
FILE - Lights illuminate a coal mine at twilight, Jan. 13, 2022, in Kemmerer, Wyo. With the nearby ...
Associated Press

Court leaves dwindling paths for Biden’s climate mission

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 500 days into his presidency, Joe Biden’s hope for saving the Earth from the most devastating effects of climate change may not quite be dead. But it’s not far from it. A Supreme Court ruling Thursday not only limited the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate climate pollution by power […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
Gunman gives up in standoff in historic Savannah