Long Beach Standoff Ends; Suspect in Custody

Officers used gas to draw the suspect out of the home and a police dog to subdue the man

An hours-long standoff between the Long Beach police SWAT team and a man suspected of shooting a code enforcement officer has ended.

The man, who neighbors identified as Tony, was taken into custody in his yard around 2:40 p.m., after officers used gas to draw the suspect out of the home and a police dog to subdue the man.

"While our SWAT officers were putting gas into the residence ... the suspect repeatedly fired rounds at our officers," Long Beach Chief of Police Jim McDonnell said.

The suspect also repeatedly asked officers to shoot him, McDonnell said.

Tha man was hospitalized with minor injuries and was expected to be booked at the Long Beach City Jail on suspicion of attempted murder and possible weapons violations, McDonnell said.

"The outcome could have been much different than it turned out to be," McDonnell said.

The incident started around 8 a.m. in the 6100 block of John Avenue (map), according to the Long Beach Police Department.

The city of Long Beach had sent the code enforcer, a contract cleaning company and a police escort to the home. When confronted, the man allegedly opened fire, wounding the inspector, police said. He then retreated into his home.

Correction: An earlier version of this story erroneously reported that the suspect was being served with an eviction notice. It has been updated to reflect that the inspector was accompanying a cleaning crew.

"As inspectors and officers were in front of the location determining their course of action, a shot was fired at that time," McDonnell said. "One of the inspectors was struck in the head (and) went down. He was extracted by the officer who was with him, and transported to a local hospital."

The victim was expected to survive, police said.

More shots were heard after the initial shooting, but no other injuries were reported, McDonnell said.

Neighbors identified the suspect as Tony, an apparent hoarder who lived alone.

"He is a hoarder," neighbor Cheryl McCowen said. "He's been a hoarder since I've known him for 30 years. The city's come out several times and cleaned his house."

"He's all, 'I just got this damn city on me, hitting me up with all these fines because all the trash in my front yard.' I go, 'Well, you need to clean up your mess. It's the dirtiest house in the neighborhood,'" said neighbor Damon Seib.

After surrounding the home, police used a remote-controlled robot to remove trash from the home's front yard.

Neighbors said the man's mother died within the last six months, and his grandmother passed away within the last year.


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