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Man fatally shot by police during standoff

February 14, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
A man suspected of holding four people hostage was shot and killed by a West Covina police officer.Shortly after 12 a.m. Sunday, an unidentified man held a hostage inside a house on the 1800 Block on West Badillo Street.

The standoff went on for the better part of three hours as West Covina police cordoned off the area, brought in an armored car and deployed its SWAT team.

"I saw the gun, and he was moving the gun up and down, and he had the gun on the person on his neck, and he was going back and forth," said Guiliermo Hernandez, a neighbor who witnessed the whole event through binoculars.

"He said, 'No, I'm not going. The only way I'm going is on a stretcher or a pine box,'" described Hernandez. Hernandez also said that at one point, the gunman fired a shot through the window, shattering the glass as if to make a point.

"He was probably talking to the people in there and saying, 'I'm serious,'" Hernandez said.

The standoff ended when a police sharp shooter fired from a vantage point between two apartment buildings across the street, killing the suspect.

"They did hear a shot fired from within the location, and they saw through a window that the suspect was holding the victim at gunpoint. At that time, one of their SWAT team officers who was at the location fired one round through the window and it struck the suspect in the upper torso," described Lillian Teck, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

There is no word yet on who the suspect was or how he got into the house or his relationship if any to those inside. No one else was hurt in the incident.

Before the shooting, crisis negotiators contacted both the gunman and the hostage