A SWAT team took a mentally ill suspect who barricaded himself in a police car and fired a shot at officers into custody Wednesday morning in Garden Grove.
An Orange County Mental Health worker called police to the area of 13th and Brookhurst streets where a patient staying at Morningside Recovery, a drug and alcohol treatment facility, was acting psychotic, Garden Grove police Lt. Carl Whitney said. Officers arrived around 9:25 p.m. Tuesday and were asked to stand by as the worker conducted an evaluation, Whitney said.
The worker determined the man needed to go to another facility for further evaluation and officers had the man wait in a police car until an ambulance arrived. The man was not under arrest and was not handcuffed, Whitney said.
While in the back of a police car, the man gained access to the front of the car where he took possession of a semiautomatic patrol rifle, Whitney said.
“Officers realized the male was now holding the rifle and ordered him to put it down,” Whitney said.
The man fired one shot, which went through the windshield, prompting officers to evacuate the area and call SWAT officers to the scene. No injuries were reported and officers did not return fire, Whitney said.
After several hours of negotiation, the suspect surrendered at 12:41 a.m. and was taken into custody, Whitney said. He was arrested on suspicion of discharging the rifle and was booked at the Orange County Jail.
Garden Grove police supervisors will investigate how the suspect was able to gain access to the patrol rifle, Whitney said.
“At this point, it is unknown if the locking mechanism for the rifle failed or if the suspect somehow was able to trigger the release of the weapon,” Whitney said.
—City News Service
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