Kidnap suspect found dead after Torrance motel standoff

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A man accused of kidnapping his ex-girlfriend in Redondo Beach Thursday was found dead in a Torrance motel room following a standoff that lasted about 10 hours. (KABC)

A man accused of kidnapping his ex-girlfriend in Redondo Beach Thursday was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the bathroom of a Torrance motel room following a police standoff that lasted about 10 hours.

The kidnap victim managed to escape to safety hours earlier.

According to investigators, a 22-year-old woman was kidnapped at gunpoint by her ex-boyfriend, 27-year-old L.A. resident Timothy Thomas, in South Redondo Beach around 3:20 a.m. The suspect used a silver semi-automatic handgun, police said. Thomas drove away with the victim in a 2000 Honda Accord sedan from the 900 block of Carnelian Street.

Torrance police received a call about two hours later from relatives saying that the victim and suspect were at the Super 8 motel on the 2300 block of Sepulveda Boulevard. The girlfriend's roommate had also called police.

The manager of the motel called police at about 5:30 a.m. after the ex-girlfriend managed to talk her way out of the room. Police responded and the standoff began.

"(Officers) saw a subject matching the description in the parking structure downstairs. Officers went to contact him and he fled from officers. The female was able to get away," said Torrance Police Sgt. Paul Kranke.

SWAT officers went from room to room to search for the suspect. Motel guests had to be evacuated after reports of a gunshot.

Tear gas canisters were fired into the room occupied by the suspect. Just after 3 p.m., a SWAT team entered the room.

"Officers made entry into the complex here at the Super 8, and shortly after 3 o'clock, they found an individual, a male, inside one of the rooms who was deceased from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound," said Kranke.

Police said Thomas was located in the bathroom of the room.

No officers or civilians were injured in the incident.

Sepulveda Boulevard was shut down between Crenshaw Boulevard and Arlington Avenue due to the barricade situation. Golden Kids Preschool was placed on lockdown as a precaution due to its proximity to the incident, but no children were inside because the incident started before the preschool opened.

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