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Man arrested after 17-hour SWAT standoff at Norcross apartment complex

WSB Atlanta logo WSB Atlanta 1/18/2022 WSBTV.com News Staff
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Seventeen hours after Gwinnett County SWAT teams arrived at a Norcross apartment complex to negotiate with a suspected gunman, he has been arrested.

Dozens of neighbors have been allowed back into their apartments.

Officers were called to the Gwinnett Point Apartments near Interstate 85 and Beaver Ruin Road at 5:30 a.m. Monday to an unknown emergency. When they arrived, they could not get anyone to come to the door.

The suspect, later identified as Terrell Adams, called 911 a second time around 6 a.m. Officers went back to the apartment, but still could not get anyone to the door. Through their investigation, they determined the man inside may be armed, so they alerted SWAT.

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Around 11 a.m., neighbors say police began evacuating them from their homes after hearing an exchange of gunfire. Police say that throughout the day, Adams sporadically fired shots at officers.

“We heard about six, seven shots. Heard officers screaming to get down. I don’t know if anyone else came out but the other guy was still inside,” neighbor Gilbert Burton said.

After nearly a full day of being shot at and negotiating with Adams, SWAT was able to safely get inside the apartment and arrest Adams just after midnight.

Adams was alone inside the apartment, but it is unclear if the apartment was his.

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Neighbors told Channel 2′s Steve Gehlbach they heard two rounds of gunfire. One early Monday morning before sunrise then again late in the morning during a standoff with SWAT.

“I knew something was wrong when I heard the Gwinnett County Police Department banging on one of the doors,” Burton said.

The family right above the ground-floor apartment where Adams barricaded himself said they heard what sounded like several shots fired, then looked outside to see one officer outside their building with a rifle and another at the bottom of the stairs with a shield.

“Told officer heard gunshots. They told us (to) go back inside. About an hour or so later, they evacuated the whole building,” Burton said.

Other neighbors were locked down for hours.

“We can’t get in or out at all and this is ridiculous. I’m ready to go work,” another neighbor said, not giving their name.

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Burton told Gehlbach that he got his wife and two young kids out.

“My initial thought was getting them to safety,” Burton said.

They were able to stay with a relative in the same complex and are not stuck out in the cold like others, Burton said.

Police want to thank neighbors in the community for their patience, saying the community’s safety is always their top priority.

It is unclear what charges Adams will face.

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