San Gabriel, LA – A gunman held police at bay for six hours Thursday, set fire to several homes and launched fireworks at surrounding SWAT team members before he charged outside with a shotgun and was shot dead, authorities said.
His name wasn’t immediately released but Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials described him as a homeless man who made frequent visits to a home where his relatives lived.
Officers were called to a junk-filled property containing several houses over reports that a man had fired gunshots during a family dispute, San Gabriel city spokesman Jonathan Fu said.
When officers arrived the man exchanged gunfire with them. Nobody was hurt. The man then barricaded himself in a home, Fu said.
Police from several local communities and members of a sheriff’s SWAT team surrounded the area. Several neighbors were evacuated and nearby Interstate 10 was shut down for hours, jamming traffic for miles.
During the ensuing standoff, the man fired gunshots out of a window and set fire to the home, authorities said. About 30 firefighters were forced to stand by because of the threat from the gunman as smoke and flames poured from the home.
Eventually, SWAT team members trained a hose on the house.
In the meantime, helicopter news video showed the shirtless man leaping out the door of the burning home with a gun in his hand. He later set fire to the porch of a home, hid in the yard, went into a guesthouse and threw fireworks out a window in fountains of sparks, went back out into the yard, hid under a boat, got into a pickup truck and then crouched and went under the truck, crawling out with a cigarette in his mouth and holding two guns.
Authorities at the scene described the man as paranoid, believing people were there to hurt him, and negotiators were unable to reason with him.
The man went back into the guesthouse and was shot when he ran out carrying a shotgun.
Nobody else was injured, authorities said.