A former volunteer firefighter in Montgomery County held four fellow firefighters hostage at gunpoint Tuesday morning before being taken into custody, Cheltenham Township police said.
Police Chief John Norris said Paul Jordan, 25, had been fired from the LaMott Fire Company in Elkins Park the day before.
Jordan allegedly entered the unlocked fire station Tuesday morning with a 9mm handgun and held the other men hostage in the basement for about an hour before surrendering, police said.
"It's always the best possible outcome when nobody gets hurt," Norris said.
The township's hostage negotiators were talking to Jordan by phone as the SWAT unit surrounded the building and entered the first floor.
"He was very upset," Norris said. "Volunteer firefighters, especially in our township, are very dedicated people. They take it very seriously, and they do a tough job with no money.
"When you get terminated or you lose that job for some reason, it's very traumatic."
Norris said Jordan gave up without a fight.
No charges had been filed Tuesday afternoon, but police said Jordan would be sent for a mental health evaluation.
Norris said he was not sure yet if the four taken were targeted or if they just happened to be there when Jordan arrived. He let one of the hostages go early on, but continued to hold the three others.
Jordan apparently fired one shot into the wall before police arrived, but no one was injured throughout the ordeal, the chief said.
Rafael Rivera, a paver who was working in the area, said he saw police cars arriving and officers quietly surrounding the building around 10:45 a.m. He never heard shots fired.
"Someone came out with his arms up," he said. "The team ran in, and they pulled the fire door down behind them."
A few minutes after that, he said, they came out and officers began to clear the scene.