Child returned safely to family after daylong barricade with armed father in Lancaster

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Thursday, December 22, 2022
Daylong barricade ends in Lancaster with child safe, suspect down
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A dangerous barricade situation involving an infant held at gunpoint by his father ended after nearly 20 hours with the child safe and the suspect down, officials said.

LANCASTER, Calif. (KABC) -- A dangerous barricade situation involving an infant held at gunpoint by his father ended after nearly 20 hours with the child safe and the suspect down, officials said.

The man barricaded himself inside his mobile home in Lancaster early Wednesday morning after leading California Highway Patrol officers on a high-speed chase late Tuesday night, shooting at officers and pointing a gun at his baby's head, authorities said.

He stayed in the home with his infant all day as the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department attempted to convince him to surrender safely.

The exact circumstances of how the barricade ended and the condition of the suspect were not immediately available. But it apparently ended around 9 p.m. Wednesday with the child safe and the suspect only described as "down." An ambulance was being requested.

At one point during the standoff, a string of gunshots were heard going off.

The situation began Tuesday night when officers spotted a white Kia SUV traveling at a reported 132 mph along the 14 Freeway near Via Princessa at 11:44 p.m. That's when CHP officers began pursuing the suspect in a chase that spanned several freeways.

CHP said the suspect, identified only as Fernando, called the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and told the dispatch team he was armed and had an infant in the car.

"He also said that he would shoot at CHP officers if we did not disengage in the pursuit," a CHP spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said at 12:47 a.m., the suspect shot at officers near 17th Street E and Avenue Q in the Palmdale area. No officers were struck.

The chase ended when the suspect drove to his home at the Lido Estates Mobile Home Community in Lancaster and locked himself in.

"The suspect exited the vehicle with the infant child, had the handgun pointed to the infant's head and slowly walked away from our officers," CHP said.

After barricading himself inside the house for hours, the only message he communicated during the day was a note posted in the window asking for diapers for his son.

It's unclear if the diapers were provided, but authorities attempted to deliver a cellphone to the residence via robot to open up lines of communication.

"We want to end this peacefully," Deputy Miguel Meza said earlier in the day. "We want to see his side of the story. See what's going on in his mind. We want the baby to be safe, that's our main concern. His safety and the baby's safety is our main concern."

Alejandra Rosas, the suspect's aunt, spoke with reporters at the scene and said the infant is the suspect's son.

"Fernando, please get out of the house," she pleaded. "Please. I want to see you, I want to see the baby. Please."

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