The incident started around 10 p.m. Tuesday when police received a call about a man threatening people on the fifth floor of the Vantage Apartments building on the 1700 block of North Fuller Avenue.
Police said the man barricaded himself inside the apartment when officers arrived. Residents had to be evacuated.
"Well they evacuated us right now because they said they're sending the SWAT team over. All I heard was just this guy got a machete, he got a hammer, he got a knife and he's trying to kill himself or something like that," said an unidentified resident.
At one point, a negotiator convinced the suspect to throw his machete down into a swimming pool below.
It took tear gas to get the man to surrender after six hours. There were no reports of injuries.
Neighbors say the man has been an issue at the apartment complex for a while.
The man's motive was unclear, but police said he threatened at least one person.
"We at least have one person that he made a specific threat against, so that's the person we're using as a victim on this particular crime," said Duane Hayawaka with the Los Angeles Police Department.
Police said they will be running some tests to determine if drugs or alcohol were involved.