Suspected gang leader dead, 3 hostages freed after Sandy Springs SWAT standoff

Man tied to more than 40 killings, attempted murders dies from self-inflicted gunshot, police say

Three hostages were rescued and the leader of a notorious Baltimore gang connected to dozens of killings is dead after an hourslong standoff with police Tuesday afternoon at a Sandy Springs apartment complex, officials said.

Gary Anthony Creek, 39, of Baltimore, was found dead inside the apartment around 4 p.m. when the home was cleared by a SWAT unit, Sandy Springs police said. According to authorities, he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The three hostages rescued include Creek’s girlfriend, who has not been identified, and two children, ages 2 and 6, U.S. Marshals Service spokesman Frank Lempka confirmed to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Police said Wednesday that Creek and the woman had known each other for several years, but that she had no idea he was wanted.

“She was not involved, was not aware, was not harboring or trying to hide him,” Sandy Springs Sgt. Sal Ortega said. “She was really an innocent person stuck in the middle of this bad situation.”

Creek was the founder and leader of Baltimore’s “Triple C” gang, which stands for “Cruddy Conniving Crutballs,” according to the Baltimore Sun. He was wanted on federal racketeering charges, among others, by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The gang was reportedly tied to more than 40 killings and attempted murders, according to the Sun. He has had pending charges since 2019 related to a drug conspiracy, but he was released from prison in May 2020 on home monitoring due to COVID-19 concerns, the newspaper reported.

Credit: ATF Baltimore

Credit: ATF Baltimore

The standoff at the Arium Morgan Falls apartments started around 1 p.m. Tuesday when police and U.S. marshals were fired upon while trying to serve Creek with an arrest warrant, Lempka said.

“When we were knocking at the door, he started firing shots,” Lempka said.

Following those gunshots, police learned that Creek had hostages inside the apartment and called in the SWAT unit.

About three hours into the standoff, the hostages were safely released, according to Sandy Springs police. Minutes later, the SWAT unit entered the apartment to find Creek already dead. Police said he turned the gun on himself, but it’s not clear when.

Police did not return fire despite Creek firing multiple gunshots, officials said. No officers or hostages were injured during the standoff.

The incident caused major disruptions in the area as neighbors in the apartment complex were forced to evacuate and the road outside, Adair Lane, was closed by police. Residents were allowed to return to their apartments shortly after the ordeal ended around 4 p.m.

The apartment management team released the following statement, in part, after the standoff ended.

“The safety and wellbeing of our residents is our top priority and we are extremely grateful to the Sandy Springs Police Department and U.S. Marshals Service for maintaining their safety, and that of everyone within the vicinity.”

― Staff writer Asia Simone Burns contributed to this article.