Suspect in Atlanta Courthouse Shootings Waves "White Flag," Is Captured - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

3/12/05-Atlanta, GA

Suspect in Atlanta Courthouse Shootings Waves "White Flag," Is Captured

Nichols Being Taken Into Custody (WSB-TV) Nichols Being Taken Into Custody (WSB-TV)
Suspect: Brian Nichols Suspect: Brian Nichols
Fulton County Courthouse: Atlanta, Georgia Fulton County Courthouse: Atlanta, Georgia
Judge Rowland Barnes: Killed in shooting Judge Rowland Barnes: Killed in shooting

The man who police say killed three people at an Atlanta, Georgia courthouse on Friday, setting off a huge manhunt, is in police custody. And in spite of some tense moments, his capture was peaceful.

Police say it was a 911 tip that led them to Brian Nichols at an apartment complex north of Atlanta. Authorities say the female caller had been held against her will by Nichols inside her apartment -- but managed to break free and contact authorities. 

Vernon Keenan, Director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation: "I believe if he told her 'if you cooperate, I will not kill you.'"

Following a brief standoff, police say Nichols gave himself up without incident - waving a white flag or t-shirt to signal his surrender. The 33-year-old suspect was then handcuffed and taken away by federal authorities for questioning.

Charles Walters, Gwinnett County Sheriff:  "This ended as well as a situation like this can possibly end."

The massive manhunt - one of the largest in Georgia history -- came to an end about 26 hours after it began at the Fulton County Courthouse. Police say Nichols - who was on trial for rape and other felony charges - overpowered a female deputy who was escorting him into a courtroom -- taking her gun and shooting her in the face. Witnesses say he then ran into the courtroom - shooting and killing Judge Rowland Barnes and his court reporter. Nichols later killed another deputy before fleeing the scene.

Authorities believe Nichols is also responsible for the death of a U.S. Customs and Immigration agent. Police discovered his body early Saturday and found his vehicle near the apartment complex where Nichols was apprehended.

ABC News correspondent Eric Horng, reporting.

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