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Hall SWAT team shoots man armed with ax in hostage standoff, officials say
Mug - Randy Berry updated 7-16-22.jpg
Randy Berry

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

A man armed with an ax 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 of terroristic threats and false imprisonment. He also faces misdemeanor charges of obstruction and reckless conduct, said B.J. Williams, spokeswoman with the Sheriff’s Office. Other charges are pending.

He was taken to the hospital then booked into the Hall County Jail later Saturday. 

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 in the 4500 block of Lakeview Lane off Browns Bridge Road, according to the Sheriff’s Office. 

Patrol deputies arrived at the scene and found Berry armed with an ax and holding a woman hostage in a two-story outbuilding.

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 building, threatening to set the building 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 building to rescue the woman and provide aid to Berry.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting. The agency declined to provide the name of the officer who shot Berry. The Times has filed a records request for the officer’s name. 

According to the Georgia Department of Corrections, Berry was in prison from March 2013 until November on an aggravated battery case from Hall County. 

No attorney information was available Monday, July 18, from Magistrate Court officials.