Suspect in custody after exchanging gunfire with police near Azusa Pacific University

KABC logo
Monday, June 7, 2021
Suspect in custody after shots fired near Azusa Pacific University
A shelter-in-place order near the Azusa Pacific University campus has been lifted after a suspect who fired shots into the air and then exchanged gunfire with officers was taken into custody.

AZUSA, Calif. (KABC) -- A shelter-in-place order near the Azusa Pacific University campus has been lifted after a suspect who fired shots into the air and exchanged gunfire with officers was taken into custody Sunday afternoon.

Residents of a mobile home park in the area were terrified as gunfire ripped through windows and into a passing car, and the suspect at one point broke into a home and forced an 88-year-old woman to flee.

After all the gunfire, there were no injuries reported.

The events started around 11 a.m. with a report of a man with a firearm near Citrus and Alosta avenues, said Azusa police Capt. Robert Landeros.

Police initially could not find the man but about an hour later, there was a report of a man firing a gun into the air in the 800 block of East Foothill Boulevard.

At one point, he also reportedly fired at the car of a university janitor who was driving to work. The janitor was not struck.

Azusa police, with help from a sheriff's department helicopter, searched for the suspect in the area, while advising people to "shelter in place, stay indoors, and away from windows."

Eventually officers found the suspect and chased after him on foot. During the chase, he fired at the officers and they returned fire. Neither suspect nor officers were struck by gunfire.

He forced his way into a home in a nearby trailer complex and the resident of that home was able to escape unharmed.

Officers surrounded the home and eventually the suspect gave up without further incident.

The suspect was later identified as local resident Edward Gamino, 34. Residents say he lives in the mobile home park and has caused problems in the past.

Glynn Darlene Schmedes, 88, was home when Gamino broke in.

"He broke the window to my back door and unlocked it, and came in with a gun," she said. And then I had to get out of there."

In the meantime, her daughter, aware of a commotion in the neighborhood, was trying to reach her mother. The suspect answered the phone.

"I called my mom's house and that's when the person who was in the house answered the phone," Audrey Schmedes said.

"He sounded a little agitated that I was calling and kind of frustrated and then hung up on me."

Another resident said bullets ripped through the windows of her home.

"He shot the gun outside my house," Michele Ostick said. "I do have a broken window where the bullet went into my bedroom, with debris on my pillow."

Investigators recovered a gun and say the suspect was also wearing a makeshift gun belt to hold the firearm.

"It's definitely a scary situation," Landeros said. "Any time you have an active shooter like this, it puts the entire community at risk."

The suspect is expected to face charges of attempted murder and other counts.