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Murder suspect shot, killed on La Mirada roof

March 1, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
A murder suspect on a roof in La Mirada was shot to death by police on Thursday after authorities say he opened fire on them.

The 27-year-old suspect, whose name has not been released, was declared dead at the scene in the 15500 block Escalona Road at about 8:30 a.m. His lifeless body was on the roof of a garage near the home where police say the suspect was staying.

"We knew that something was going down, and the next thing you know, they all drew their guns, and we heard about 10 shots, and I ran for cover," said witness Melissa Nix.

According to police, the man was a documented gang member suspected in the murders of two gang members last November in Los Angeles in the Hollenbeck division.

A task force of several LAPD officers and one FBI agent was serving an arrest warrant at the home and getting people out of the house right before the suspect took off and climbed onto a neighboring garage roof.

Cmdr. Andrew Smith said officers attempted to call him down off the roof, but the suspect refused. Instead, the suspect allegedly reached into his pocket and shot a single round at officers.

"At that point, an officer-involved shooting occurred involving both LAPD officers and an FBI agent," Smith said.

Residents say they were shocked gunfire rang out during the busy morning, a time when kids were just getting settled into their elementary school a few blocks away. Escalona Elementary School was temporarily lockdown.

"All I could think of was the children, not only my grandchildren, but the children in the neighborhood, people walking by, they could have got shot," said Martha Cardona of La Mirada.

No officers or residents were hurt. The fatal officer-involved shooting is under investigation.