Witnesses Grateful for Peaceful End to Hostage Situation - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports


Witnesses Grateful for Peaceful End to Hostage Situation

From video taken by witness Jeff Friend of Brower's surrender. From video taken by witness Jeff Friend of Brower's surrender.
Robbie Brower. Robbie Brower.

As you can imagine, the whole City of Statesboro is breathing a collective sigh of relief tonight after the peaceful resolution of a 24-hour hostage standoff (Both Suspects in Custody as Hostage Situation Ends Peacefully). We spoke with some people who watched the whole thing unfold. 

Many people returned to the downtown area to pick up vehicles they had to abandon when police evacuated the area yesterday.

People were relieved to see law enforcement stepping down from what could have been a deadly situation. "It's been crazy," said witness Jeff Friend. "In Bulloch County, stuff like that doesn't happen."

Friend was among many residents who waiting on pins and needles to see if attorney Michael Hostilo would be set free. Never witnessing anything like this in a quiet place like Statesboro, he brought his own personal video camera to the scene just as the suspect, Robbie Brower, was being led out of Hostilo's office.

"I'd just gone to get another tape this morning," he recalled. "I put it in, and that's when we saw the suspect coming out."

With Brower now in custody, the Statesboro residents who've remained on the scene since the beginning are now starting to breathe a sigh of relief.

"We were very worried, very worried that someone would get hurt," said Red Cross worker Dan Foglio. "Including the lawyer and everybody else. There's a lot of people here."

The Red Cross had been on hand to help law enforcement personnel with support and refreshments.

As law enforcement finished up their search for any remaining explosives, residents are thankful for all the men and woman who put their lives on the line to protect the one man being held against his will.

"We've been here all day yesterday, all last night," said Foglio. "So I'm so glad and relieved that it's over. And that nobody got hurt."

Residents say this event will remain in their thoughts for years to come.

"I guess will be telling our grandchildren about this," said Foglio. "It's been quite an experience. We've got some great law enforcement here in Statesboro, from all over Georgia. And they're very appreciative of what Red Cross did for them."

As of this evening, police were still not allowing anyone into the immediate area around Hostilo's office. We're told it could be as late as tomorrow before the scene is reopened.

Reported by: Nicole Teigen, nteigen@wtoc.com

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