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Boyle Heights standoff ends with gunfire; suspect dead

April 30, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
An overnight standoff between a carjacking suspect and SWAT came to a deadly end after sheriff's deputies stormed an apartment building in Boyle Heights Tuesday.

Gunfire erupted at an apartment complex on the 500 block of Fairview Street.

The gunfire marked the end of a tense and lengthy standoff with a reckless gunman. The suspect was held up for three hours.

Deputies said it all started around 10 p.m. when they received a call about an armed carjacking in East Los Angeles. Authorities tracked down the suspect on a local highway and there was a short high-speed pursuit that ended in Boyle Heights.

Investigators said the suspect ditched his stolen vehicle on Progress Place and pointed a handgun at deputies.

"As he was running, he turned. He was armed with a chrome handgun," said Los Angeles Co. Sheriff's Department Lt. Eddie Hernandez. "A deputy involved shooting occurred at that point."

According to investigators, the suspect was then somehow able to get away from them. He jumped a fence and went north and barricaded himself inside an occupied apartment. Two women were inside.

"The occupants of the apartment then barricaded themselves in the bathroom and began to, I believe, call 911," said Hernandez.

According to officials, the suspect then started shooting at deputies from the apartment's window.

The gun blasts woke up neighbors.

"I couldn't sleep because of my safety. I was worried either about a bullet coming through the house or anything," said neighbor Andy Vizcarra.

Robert Barillas lives next door and said there was a large presence of SWAT at the scene.

Barrillas told Eyewitness News SWAT used a ladder to rescue the hostages from the second floor from his backyard. He also said a window where the suspect was barricaded was broken by tear gas canisters in an attempt to smoke the suspect out but it didn't work.

"A K9 dog was called out and the deputy scouting the location to point his dog was actually shot at by the suspect," said Hernandez.

Police said a robot was then sent into the home.

"The suspect jumped over the robot and charged at the department's Special Enforcement Bureau deputies pointing a handgun and that's when the shooting occured," said Hernandez.

The suspect was shot and killed. His identity has not been released but police say he was 33 years old.

An internal investigation is under way to determine if the shooting was legally justified.


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