Relatives of an allegedly knife-wielding man killed following a six-hour Covina standoff during which the suspect was holding his 7- month-old daughter were searching for answers Monday as authorities investigated the circumstances leading to the shooting.
The shooting occurred about 10:20 p.m. Sunday, about six hours after police went to the entrance of Wingate Park in the 700 block of North Glendora Avenue on a report of a “suspicious vehicle,” according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Covina Police Department.
“Upon the officers’ contact with the occupants of the vehicle, (a) female adult stated she needed the officers’ assistance regarding a disturbance,” according to sheriff’s officials. “The female adult exited the vehicle,” leaving the male adult inside the vehicle with a Hispanic baby girl.
The 22-year-old man “made threatening statements while armed with a knife,” and a standoff ensued, according to the sheriff’s department.
“After approximately six hours of negotiations, officers feared for the toddler’s safety based on the suspect’s statements,” officials said.
Officers moved in, setting off a device that sent up a cloud of smoke, and shots could be heard as officers struggled with the suspect, while one officer carried the infant girl to safety.
Sheriff’s officials said the suspect was shot multiple times in the upper body and died at the scene.
The toddler was not injured, nor were the officers. Sheriff’s detectives were assisting Covina police in the investigation.
According to Covina police Officer Ray Marquez, the man was threatening to hurt himself.
The man’s mother, Remi Hamilton, identified him as Daniel Navarro of Covina. She criticized police for opening fire, saying if she had been permitted to talk to him, she could have gotten him to exit the car safely.
“They didn’t allow me to talk to my son,” Hamilton told ABC7. “They’d rather shoot him and kill him than let me talk to my son.”
She said Navarro “didn’t mean no harm to” his daughter.
“He wanted to hold the baby,” she told ABC7. “He knew he was going to jail, he wanted to hold the baby as long as he can.”
She said she asked police to let her speak to her son, but she was not given the chance.
Jesse Joiner, a friend of Navarro, said he spoke to him on the phone during the standoff.
“He was telling me that he’s a little scared of what’s going on,” he told the station. “The baby was in no danger whatsoever.”
Anyone with information on the case was urged to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500, or Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.
—City News Service
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