A gunman fatally shot by police while holding his estranged girlfriend hostage on the side of a road in Redlands was identified Thursday night as a 29-year-old man from Downey.
Andrew Mike was killed by police in a volley of gunfire, bringing the more than two-hour standoff to a dramatic end.
The incident began when the man was fighting with his ex-girlfriend at an Office Depot in the area of Sixth Street and East High Avenue, Redlands Police Chief Mark Garcia said. The man pulled out a gun and fired a round, striking someone unrelated to the argument in the hand.
The gunman then fled with his ex-girlfriend to a nearby street, where he took cover behind the woman as they sat on the ground. Officers backed by an armored vehicle surrounded the couple with guns drawn.
About two hours later, gunshots suddenly erupted and the man keeled over dead. Officers rushed in and dragged the woman away to safety. She was soon taken to a hospital, where she was in stable condition being treated for serious injuries, Garcia said.
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Moments later, police confirmed that the man was killed in the shooting.
The victim who was wounded at the store received medical attention and seemed to be OK, Garcia said.
Witnesses, some in tears, looked on as officers toting rifles sealed off the Office Depot parking lot. Still trying to make sense of what took place, they recalled the initial shot that rang out, with one witness describing it as the sound of popping bubble wrap.
"I went into the store, I heard a pop, I thought somebody was playing a trick on someone," a witness said moments after the store shooting. "Then all of the employees started running and they told me to get out and run."
A man working at a nearby business said a crowd of customers and employees from Office Depot spilled in looking for shelter. They locked the doors behind them and waited for police to arrive.
The Office Depot will remain closed until further notice, according to a statement from the company.
"The store remains closed until further notice as we focus on supporting our associates through the tragic event that began with a domestic dispute inside the store," according to the statement. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to our injured associate and her family as they focus on her recovery as well as to the unidentified customer who sustained an injury to the hand.
"Office Depot would like to thank the Redlands Police Department for their response and efforts to protect our associates and customers."