At least 10 families were returning to their Valinda homes Monday morning after a man who fired more than 100 shots from a house in their neighborhood was found dead, ending a 50-hour standoff.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department tore holes in the roof so they could use cameras to see inside before entering the house where they found the suspect committed suicide, sheriff’s officials said. His name was not released pending notification of relatives.
Early Monday morning, the LASD announced the incident was over and efforts had begun at Workman High School to get the evacuated families back in their homes.
Sheriff’s officials did not say when the suspect killed himself but Lt. Thomas Giandomenico told reporters during an evening news conference that, at 2 a.m. Sunday, the suspect was “still cussing and sending text messages about his ability to want to put harm on us.”
During crisis negotiations, the suspect did not give specific reasons for the siege, Giandomenico said.
Asked why the SWAT team waited so long to enter the house, he explained, “We had to make sure that everything was done to perfection and with the utmost safety, and in that process it takes time, and all the while being hindered by being shot at.”
SWAT deputies did not fire on the suspect because one of their goals was to “protect him from himself,” he said. They parked armored vehicles in front of the home to shield them from his gunshots.
The suspect was a guest at the house of a girlfriend, Giandomenico said.
The incident began shortly before 2:30 p.m. Friday in the 16900 block of Wing Lane, just west of North Azusa Avenue, near the city of Industry, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Deputies initially responded to the area on a report of a person firing shots at pedestrians, ABC7 reported.
The LASD reported that a woman was transported to a hospital with an undisclosed injury that was not a gunshot wound. Deputies came under fire, prompting them to return fire. The suspect barricaded inside a home, where the department’s Special Enforcement Bureau was called to assist.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis issued the following statement just before 5 p.m.: “I have been informed that the suspect involved in the Valinda barricade situation has committed suicide.
“After learning about the incident, I asked the Red Cross Los Angeles to deploy a team to Workman High School in the city of Industry and provide assistance to the impacted families that had to be evacuated from their homes. As the standoff went past 24 hours, my office was able to place displaced families in a nearby hotel thanks to the city of Industry and the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District.
“I’m grateful to all of our partners including Northgate Gonzalez Market and El Pavo Bakery for donating warm meals and water. To our Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and Los Angeles Police Department law enforcement deputies on the ground, thank you for the hard work you put in these last 48 hours, as well as our Office of Emergency Management and Department of Mental Health, who were out there today.
“My office is reuniting families and coordinating so that they can get back to their homes safely. The Red Cross will continue to provide assistance, and residents were urged to call 800-675-5799. For mental health support, please contact 800-854-7771.”