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Atlanta Police in Standoff With Alleged Gunman

Aired June 21, 2001 - 09:22   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: At the top of this crane is believed to be a man who is thought to have a gun. That has not been confirmed, but there are reports that it's believed that he has gun. No shots have been fired, though. SWAT team officers are on the scene. Police have the area surrounded, and they evacuated all the construction workers.

A crane operator reporting to work just before about 7:00 a.m. Eastern had told police that he was forced off the crane by the armed man.

Just moments ago, we got this piece of tape from the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority's spokesperson, the regional transit authority, that runs the train system, which is where this construction sight is. The MARTA spokesperson had this to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have no idea why he made that statement. He simply made that statement that he was the FBI and that he was investigating the Gold Club. He made some veiled threats to the crane operator, and the crane operator gave him his cell phone and came down immediately.

Again MARTA police and Atlanta police are in contact with the gentleman, negotiating, at this juncture, trying to get him to come down. This has been a three-hour standoff, as you know.

So far, no injuries. The site was secure.

This is the Lindbergh TOD, MARTA's TOD, which is transit-oriented development. It is one of our largest. It's been under construction since about August of last year. That's a 14-story structure.

This gentleman scaled to the top of structure. He climbed, on the westernmost side, the crane, as you can see on the outside there. He climbed through the ladder.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARRIS: We just got that tape moments ago. You're looking at a live picture right now.

Joining us now live is Captain Herb Emory, who's in a helicopter right now. Captain Herb is one of the terrific gods around this city.

Captain Herb, what do you know about this situation? What can you see?

CAPTAIN HERB EMORY, WSB REPORTER: I tell you, they made us get away from the situation. We were there earlier, and we were first ones on then. We were able to zoom in and see this man, who was crouched, at that time, on the outside of the control booth used to operate that giant crane at the construction site. He was crouched between the booth and its power box, at the back. He was fumbling around with either plastic bags or tarp over something there in the middle.

Now we understand he has moved back inside the control panel and, apparently, even blocked up the windows, put some stuff there so people couldn't see inside.

The latest movement we've seen, as far as police, is one police officer has climbed up on another one of the three cranes in that area, to take his position. We saw three officers on the roof of the smaller of the two buildings that are under construction at that MARTA train station site. Police are continuing their investigation, and I guess, trying to figure out just exactly what they're going to try to do to bring this situation to an end.

HARRIS: We sure thank you for letting us use your eye in the sky this morning. Captain Herb Emory from our affiliate WSB, here in Atlanta, we will talk with you later on.

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