Deputiestake cover during standoff
Deputies take cover during San Gabriel standoff. Courtesy OnScene.TV

Investigators Friday continued combing through the rubble from a fiery barricade situation in San Gabriel in which a man torched a pair of homes, fired shots at law enforcement and set off fireworks before being fatally shot by sheriff’s deputies.

The man who set off Thursday’s barricade situation was not identified by authorities, but relatives said the 35-year-old man was known simply as “Boy.”

“We call him Boy. That’s my tia’s only son. That was Boy,” a man who identified himself as the suspect’s cousin told KTLA5. “… It’s sad, you know. Sad that it went down like this. We all have our ups and downs, but he’s a human being.”

Officers responded about 12:30 p.m. Thursday to an address in the 2000 block of Brighton Street after a woman called 911 to report a man with a gun inside her home, authorities said.

When officers arrived at the home, the suspect fired at officers, who returned fire, police said. The woman was able to escape from the home.

A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department SWAT team was called to the scene and crisis negotiators made telephone contact with the suspect, but he refused to surrender, police said.

About 5 p.m., smoke from a fire set by the suspect could be seen coming from the primary residence on the property. At some point the suspect, shirtless and holding a gun, ran to a second home on the property and tossed fireworks from inside. Later flames could be seen coming from that structure.

Authorities used an unmanned vehicle to break out a window of the second home and toss what appeared to be gas into the structure.

The suspect then jumped into a junked pickup truck on the property and later crawled out from under the truck and ran back to one of the homes with a cigarette in his mouth and a weapon in each hand.

A short time later, the man emerged from a doorway of the home aiming what appeared to be a shotgun and was fatally wounded by deputies.

“When he exited the location, a confrontation occurred and he was put down by the SWAT containment personnel,” Jim Hellmold, chief of the sheriff’s department Special Operations Division, told reporters at the scene.

The home where the trouble began is believed to be that of a relative of the homeless suspect, who came to the residence two days ago, police said. The residence was badly damaged by fire as crews had to keep their distance until the standoff was over.

A nearby home was evacuated during the barricade and Special Enforcement Bureau deputies were seen helping people into an armored vehicle. Other residents sheltered in place, according to a fire department captain.

Residents were allowed to re-enter the neighborhood on foot around 9 p.m., but vehicles were still prohibited in the area while detectives conducted their investigation.

Early on, the California Highway Patrol shut down westbound lanes of the San Bernardino (10) Freeway, which is about a block from the home where the standoff was happening.

Eastbound lanes were later shut down, causing major traffic backups.

All lanes of the freeway were reopened by 8:20 p.m., but the Del Mar Avenue offramp from the westbound San Bernardino Freeway remained closed as of 2:30 a.m., the CHP reported.

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