Hall SWAT team shoots man armed with axe in hostage standoff, officials say

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Jul. 16—Update: Randy Berry has been released from the hospital. He was taken to the Hall County Jail Saturday.


A man armed with an axe held a woman hostage in a Gainesville home for nearly four hours early Saturday before he was shot in the arm by a Hall County Sheriff's Office SWAT team member.

Randy Berry, 34, faces felony charges for terrorist threats and false imprisonment. He also faces misdemeanor charges of obstruction and reckless conduct, said B.J. Williams, a spokeswoman with the Sheriff's Office. Other charges are pending.

He was taken to the hospital. The woman was not physically injured, but she was taken to the hospital for observation.

Just after 12:30 a.m., Hall County 911 received a call alerting them to a domestic situation at a

home on Lakeview Lane off Browns Bridge Road, according to a press release. Patrol deputies arrived at the scene and found Berry armed with an axe and holding a woman hostage inside the home.

As Berry's threats escalated and negotiations were failing, SWAT members were called to the scene. Negotiators learned Berry had also armed himself with a torch and had poured gasoline on himself, the victim and throughout the home, threatening to set the house on fire. He also had nailed the front door shut, according to the press release. Just after 4 a.m., Berry stopped communicating with authorities. At that time, SWAT commanders authorized the use of force to end the standoff, the press release stated.

Berry was shot in the arm and SWAT members entered the home to rescue the woman and provide aid to Berry.

The woman was not physically injured, but she was taken to the hospital for observation.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting.