"Disastrous": Residents Evacuated During 12-Hour SWAT Standoff

A witness said she heard a woman screaming and a man threatening to kill her with a knife

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    NEWSLETTERS

    One mother had to leave without formula for her baby during an overnight standoff involving and armed man in a Whittier neighborhood. Toni Guinyard reports for Today in LA on Friday April 18, 2014.

    A 12-hour barricade situation in a Southern California neighborhood forced overnight evacuations for several residents before the SWAT standoff ended early Friday morning with one man in custody.

    Officers responded to a call about 4 p.m. Thursday of a man possibly holding at least one woman inside an apartment near Bright Avenue and La Cuarta Street, Whittier Police Lt. Mike Przybyl said.

    Whittier Standoff Forces Evacuations

    [LA] Whittier Standoff Forces Evacuations
    SWAT teams filled a Whittier neighborhood as a standoff that began with a possible hostage situation continued into the night. Jane Yamamoto reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. Thursday, April 17, 2014.

    The woman held hostage was released unharmed just after 4 a.m. Friday. Officials said a crisis negotiator had been talking on the phone to the man -- later identified as the woman's 43-year-old husband --  inside the apartment, who convinced the man to surrender.

    Whittier police confirmed the man had a gun and knife during the barricade. The woman was hospitalized with minor cuts to her face, police said.

    Police evacuated 50 to 100 residents living in or near the complex as SWAT officers, some in armored vehicles, waited for the man who barricaded himself inside for more than 12 hours.

    Neighbors told NBC4 the subject lived in a residence with the woman and another man. Some of those neighbors returned to their homes early Friday after the hourslong evacuation.

    "It was disastrous because of the baby," said Melissa Reyna. "We didn't have formula -- everything was stuck in the house."

    Another resident said she heard a confrontation inside the residence.

    "I just heard the window shatter, the girl asking for help, and the guy saying, 'I'm going to kill her. I have a knife,'" said resident Claribel Sotelo.

    The Red Cross had set up an evacuation center at the Whittier Senior Center at 13225 Walnut St. Residents began returning home around 6:30 a.m.

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