Troubled past of firefighters' hostage taker

9:19 PM, Apr 11, 2013   |    comments
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SUWANEE, Ga. -- We've been digging into Lauren Brown's background, talking to his former friends, relatives and plowing through court documents. The picture that's emerging is one of a man tormented by problems and living a life in turmoil.

MORE | Gunman holds firemen hostage

55 year old Lauren Brown had a troubled past. A divorce in 2001 left him with an obligation to pay credit card debt of more than 97 thousand dollars.($97,585) He also was compelled to pay alimony and child support and a year later filed for bankruptcy.

So why was he lying in his bed in his house holding firefighters hostage 11 years later? We have learned from someone close to him that Brown suffered from fibromyalgia and was in extreme pain, often on pain killers, barely able to move.

What we found in documents in Gwinnett County Superior Court shows some tendency to violent outbursts. Several years ago, his ex-wife had taken out a restraining order against him, accusing Brown of grabbing her and twisting her arm behind her back. We also learned Brown had a history of family violence with his ex-wife's current husband; both men had taken sought restraining orders against each other.

However, Lauren Brown kept close to his ex-wife and 2 kids, living just across the street from them. He used to work for IBM in IT and a friend described him as brilliant man who was bad with relationships and bad with money management.

According to court documents from this year, he owed more than 93 hundred dollars in unpaid child support and was supposed to be in court April 16 to prove why he shouldn't pay it; and if he was disabled and unable to work he was to bring documents with him to prove it.

Last July his 89 year old mother, Maggie Brown, who owned the house he lived in, had died, and the house had gone into foreclosure.


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