5 children safe after SWAT standoff at Atlanta home; man charged

Atlanta police identified the suspect as Courtney Chones, 33.

ATLANTA — Five young children are all OK after a man held them hostage inside their home.

Police said Cortney Chones, 33, held the children in the home on Graymont Drive in southwest Atlanta for five hours.

Investigators told Channel 2's Christian Jennings that the children range in age from 3 to 10 years old.

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Gene Smith, the children’s grandfather, said he lives with his daughter, her boyfriend and her five small children.

“They woke me up at 1 this morning, arguing and fighting,” Smith said.

“At some point during the dispute, the father of her child actually fired a shot in the air,” said Officer Jarius Daugherty, with the Atlanta Police Department.

Smith said his daughter called police. When officers got there, she met them outside.
Police told Jennings that the boyfriend, Chones, was still in the house with the children and refused to come out for hours.

“He’s just crazy like that. He does a lot of stupid stuff. He’s real violent,” Smith said.


The grandfather told Jennings that he was beside himself the whole time.

“I was just hoping they’d get out alright. That’s all. Sure didn’t want them to get hurt. Those (are) my babies,” Smith told Jennings.

Atlanta police called SWAT officers and hostage negotiators to the home.

Police said the suspect let the kids out after nearly five hours.

“He said he was going to let them out to go to school, so that’s what he did,” Smith said.

Atlanta police released tear gas into the home to get the man out.

He surrendered a little after 7 a.m.

Smith said he's thankful his daughter's boyfriend didn't follow through on threats.

“He threatened to shoot her and police, too,” Smith said.

Smith told Jennings he’s thankful that things ended peacefully.