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Patient of dermatology office in Hall County reportedly waved gun, held hostages there before he was killed by police
Witnesses to a shooting inside Lanier Dermatology Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, gather in the parking lot to give police statements. A man is dead after being shot by police officers responding to a report of a gunman inside the medical offices on South Enota Drive in Gainesville. - photo by Scott Rogers


A Dahlonega man took hostages at Lanier Dermatology in Gainesville, where he was a patient, before he was shot and killed by police mid-morning Monday, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

A 911 caller at about 11 a.m. told authorities a man was waving a gun at the office, which is at 605 South Enota Drive in Sherwood Plaza, according to preliminary information reported by the GBI. Gainesville Police arrived three minutes later.

The GBI was called at 11:15 a.m. Monday to investigate, which is standard in shooting incidents involving officers.

“The officers made their way into the doctor’s office while clearing staff from the building,” according to a news release issued Tuesday by the GBI. “When officers encountered the man, he had hostages in an office at gunpoint.”

Officers spoke to the man, but he ignored their commands, according to the GBI. During the encounter, he was shot by an officer.

GBI identified the man Tuesday as Rodney Hamilton, 62, of Dahlonega. He was taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy will be conducted Tuesday before the case is given to the Northeastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney for review.

Hamilton’s vehicle was also inspected and cleared by the GBI.

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A man is dead after being shot by police officers responding to a report of a gunman at Lanier Dermatology mid-morning Monday in Gainesville.

Gainesville Police confirmed the shooting before noon Jan. 14, and no one else was injured in the incident.

Officers received a 911 report of a gunman in the business at 605 S. Enota Drive, and during the response officers encountered the alleged male gunman, whose identity remains unknown, “in a hostage-type situation,” Sgt. Kevin Holbrook said.

The man was wounded and taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center where he was pronounced dead, Holbrook said.

It’s not yet clear how many officers were involved in the shooting or whether the man fired at officers.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation did not release any further details on the incident Monday or the man’s identity, as they tried to ensure “proper notification had been done with the family.”

When the incident took place, many employees of businesses in Sherwood Plaza witnessed people running out of Lanier Dermatology.

Billy Baumgartner was standing outside Lanier Dermatology when he saw officers rush into the building. He told The Times that after officers entered the business, he heard six to 10 gunshots.

“As soon as he (the law enforcement officer) went through that door and started going in there, all you heard was: pow, pow, pow, pow, pow,” Baumgartner said.

Carlos Rodriguez, a server at El Sombrero, said the restaurant’s employees noticed a commotion outside, while they were preparing to open around 11 a.m.

“We know the nurses, they come in here all the time,” Rodriguez said. “We saw them running out frantically, some were even crying.”

Bo Bennett, who was working at Locos around when the incident occured, said when he heard word of the shooting, he whipped out his phone to take a video.

Bennett said he saw a man being loaded into an ambulance on a stretcher with both of his hands secured.

Bennett said at one point he counted 25 police and Emergency Medical Services vehicles.

One officer was taken to the hospital after the shooting, but Holbrook said the officer wasn’t injured in the exchange.

The GBI’s bomb squad was examining the suspect’s vehicle Monday afternoon.

Nick Bowman, Jeff Gill and Kelsey Richardson contributed to this report.