On Monday afternoon, Peachtree City police followed up on an investigation of a wanted person and found themselves in a standoff at a home on Grenoble Road.
Lance Brooks, 26, of Peachtree City was wanted for aggravated assault and simple battery for a Feb. 16 incident in which he allegedly put a firearm to the chest of another person during an argument. When officers arrived at the Grenoble Road home to arrest Brooks, he refused to exit, leading to a multi-hour negotiation with the city's Special Response Team.
Remarkably, the entire Special Response Team crew was already suited up and ready to go, merely ten minutes away. While this incident was unfolding, the Special Response Team was doing "post-active shooter response" training at Bennett's Mill Middle School which included hostage and negotiation scenarios.
Lt. Mike Brown had just spent the day, starting around 8 a.m., working with his team and giving interviews to local news stations about the importance of staying trained and prepared for these sorts of incidents. He had no idea they would be preparing for an incident that day.
"At about 3:30 we got the calls that this was developing, so the same exact team [that was training] responded. It was a long day," Brown said.
While the training scenarios were more intense, involving active shooters with hostages, this incident required some of the same principles, Brown said.
Officers instructed Brooks to surrender and he refused. There were no threats from Brooks, simply a refusal to respond to officers. Brown said it also became clear that another female was in the home with Brooks, though she was not determined to be a hostage.
After several hours, Brown says negotiators were able to get Brooks to answer the phone and ultimately convinced him to surrender without incident.
Though no gun was found in the residence, Brooks was originally sought for threatening a female acquaintance with a gun after he was accused of stealing her prescription Xanax medication.
According to a police report from the Feb. 16 incident, Brooks was at the victim's home and "fooling around" with her friend when she found that the medication was missing. She told police that she did not see him take it but that she suspected him of stealing from her before and was "sure he was the one who did it."
She told police that when she confronted Brooks about the medication, he "came towards her in the kitchen and began pulling his shirt up and touting that he had a gun..." the report goes on to say "they went to wrestling in the kitchen as he pushed her into the corner against the wall. She said it was at this time that he pulled the pistol from his and pants and grabbed it with his opposite hand. At this time she described movement and sound that is consistent with a person loading a pistol. She said that he then placed the pistol against her chest. She said that she has known Mr. Brooks for several years and did not believe he was going to shoot her, however, he was acting as if he would. She said at this time Brooks left her home."
The report goes on to say that the Brooks returned to the home a short time later and that his return worried her enough that she called the police. Asked by the officer why she had not called the police originally, the victim said "she didn’t want to see anyone get into trouble," and that "Brooks was acting as if the entire incident was a joke to him, and she felt that the right thing to do was report the incident," the report reads.
Another witness in the report corroborated the account of Brooks getting physical and drawing a weapon on the victim.
Brooks received charges of aggravated assault with a firearm and simple battery. Holly Lloyd, 31, the homeowner at 117 Grenoble Road where Brooks was holed up was charged with obstruction for giving the police incorrect information as they tried to find out more about Brooks.
While the situation was undoubtedly frightening for surrounding residents, Lt. Brown says its fortunate Special Response Team happened to be ready to go.
"Response in those situations can be long, so in this situation it was great," Brown said.