BUFORD - Robyn Nagy says the man at the door purported himself as a friend, so he was let in. Looking back, she knows that was a colossal mistake.
Nagy, her fiance and four friends were bound with electrical cords and X-Box controllers during a harrowing, three-plus hour hostage situation Sunday night in Buford that ended when police shot the suspect, critically injuring him, the Lawrenceville resident claims.
"I was terrified," said Nagy, 21, who'd stopped by the Thompson Mill Road apartment to divvy blankets, knowing the electricity there wasn't working. "I know I couldn't stop crying."
Police on Tuesday identified the gunman as Christopher Edward King, 20, of Buford. He remains at an area hospital in stable condition, following the shooting and subsequent surgeries, police said. He's charged with kidnapping and armed robbery.
The string of alleged crimes committed by King started when he burst in the apartment, located above a Citgo gas station, and commanded the occupants to cough up their valuables, including jewelry, a television, video games and Christmas gifts, a small black pistol in his hand, Nagy said.
She claims King targeted them at random but knew exactly what he wanted - asking, at one point, for the Rock Band video game by name. His garb was typical bandit - black hoodie, dark pants, a bandanna up to his eyes, she said.
"We have no idea who this guy is," she said. "I'm really thankful that no one tried to stop him."
More than three hours passed when the gunman said he "was going to take a ride" and packed one roommate in his own Dodge Durango, bolting away with the loot in tow, Nagy said.
Her fiance was able to free himself, and he immediately called 911 on a cell phone.
Moments later, police chased the Durango to nearby Arden Drive, where King exited the car, brandished a weapon and was shot by a responding officer, said Gwinnett police spokeswoman Cpl. Illana Spellman. Police won't disclose what type of weapon the suspect reportedly flashed.
The officer, who was not identified, remains on routine administrative leave, pending an internal investigation.
Crime scene investigators, along with members of the deadly force investigative team, processed the scene and will continue the investigation.
The victims have established a fund - an effort to help them recoup finances during the holidays - called the Thompson Mill Hostage Fund, offered through Bank of America. Nagy said each victim is undergoing free counseling offered through nearby Sugar Hill United Methodist Church.
Nagy's fiancee, Sean Reinertson, 23, said his thoughts during the ordeal were affixed on his two young daughters, asleep at a relative's house up the street.
"That's all I could think about," Reinertson said, "them waking up in the morning, and no one being there for them."