Armed suspect caught after hours-long search; Burbank house destroyed in fire

BURBANK, Calif. (KABC) -- An armed man has been arrested following an hours-long search and house fire in Burbank overnight.

Burbank police were dispatched at about 10:30 p.m. Friday to investigate a reported restraining order violation at a home in the 1500 block of N. Niagara Street, police said.

Upon arrival, officers heard shots being fired. Authorities noticed a fire in one of the houses in the area and officers made contact with three people inside the home and safely evacuated them, according to a statement from the police department.

The people confirmed shots had been fired inside the home, and the suspect was in the area.

Officers in an air support helicopter saw the suspect attempting to flee. A perimeter containment was established, and additional resources were dispatched. The Burbank PD SWAT team and K-9 officers, with assistance from Glendale and Pasadena police, conducted a search of the area.

At about 3:15 am, the suspect was found in the backyard of a property in the 1400 block of Catalina Street. Police said he did not comply with directions from the officers, and a K-9 was deployed. The suspect was taken into custody, and a firearm was recovered at the scene, according to the statement.

The suspect was transported to a nearby hospital for injuries sustained during his apprehension by the police dog. No shots were fired by officers during the incident, police said. No other injuries were reported.

Authorities said teamwork helped keep the community safe.

"The dynamics of having to manage that and try and address an outstanding suspect who's armed with a firearm, while we also have an active fire burning -- trying to protect the fire department while they address that -- to keep other houses in the community from being damaged or affected by the fire while we're also trying to locate the suspect and keep people safe from him -- there's a lot of moving parts, it takes a lot of resources," said Burbank PD Lt. Adam Cornils.

A family who was at home when the armed suspect jumped into their backyard described the terror they felt when they realized the danger around them.

"My heart was racing. All I could think was, you know, to get (my daughter) out. I mean, it was scary...Then, when everybody was saying he has a gun. He could have easily come into my home and held us hostage. I mean, we were very lucky," said mother Melissa Zee.

Zee added that the suspect did make his way into her house at one point before he turned over a bed and escaped through a window.

Meantime, it was not yet known how the fire inside the initial home started. Authorities said the entire ordeal may have stemmed from a domestic dispute in Glendale hours earlier involving two people from the Burbank incident.

An investigation was ongoing.
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