Los Angeles

Gunman Who Took Hostages in Downey Left Family Video Message Before Deputies Shot Him

"No matter what happens here, I want you guys to know that I love you guys," the suspect told his children

An armed carjacking suspect who took hostages at a Southern California restaurant left a message for his family in a cellphone video before being shot and killed by deputies.

"I don't want to go back to jail guys, you know? Because you guys already know how (much) bad luck I got. I love you guys to death and I don’t want you guys have to be visiting me in prison," said the suspect, 41-year-old Eddie Tapia, in the video, which was provided to KNBC by one of the hostages.

On Thursday night, Tapia – who was suspected of vehicle theft and carjacking a second vehicle – led law enforcement officers on a high-speed, 45-minute chase before running into a crowded Chris' and Pitt's barbecue restaurant in Downey, where he held hostages at gunpoint.

Some of the hostages took cellphone video of Tapia near the restaurant’s kitchen, where he looked into the camera while holding a drink and left a message for his family, including his children.

"I’ve always tried to be a good dad to you guys, even though I’ve been gone," Tapia said. "No matter what happens here, I want you guys to know that I love you guys. It has nothing to do with you guys."

Sheriff’s deputies raided the restaurant and fatally shot Tapia.

A customer who identified himself only as Danny was one of Tapia's hostages. Danny said he was ordered to record the video and Tapia seemed to know "his end was coming."

"I didn’t feel like I was in any kind of immediate danger," he said. "My perception, you know being there able to spend some time with him, I thought that he seemed to be a pretty decent guy."

Another hostage said Tapia had asked him to go outside to ask deputies "for more time."

"The things they're trying to say bad about me, you know, I didn’t hurt that lady," Tapia said in the video. "I got caught up again. Bad luck, bad decisions."

Tapia's 12-year-old daughter shed tears after hearing her father's last words.

"He was a great person," she said.

Her 9-year-old brother said he would miss his father and how they would go to the park and play football.

"I wish that he'd never done that and I wish he was alive right now," he said. "I really love him."

NBC4's Kate Larsen contributed to this report.

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