Suspect in Custody After Tustin Put on Alert by Search for Armed Man

A suspect was in custody after Tustin police searched a busy commercial and residential area for several hours for a man armed with a firearm who fled after an officer fired on him Thursday morning, authorities said.

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Henry Justin Herrera, 20, was taken into custody after an hours-long search following an officer-involved shooting in Tustin on April 10, 2014.

Residents in the area of the 1600 block of Nisson Road (map) were told to remain in their homes and report any suspicious activity, and area schools were on lockdown, Tustin police Chief Charlie Celano said at about 11:15 a.m.

An officer responded to an apartment complex on Nisan after a call came to police just before 9 a.m. regarding a suspicious man in the area armed with a sawed-off shotgun or rifle, Celano said.

When the officer arrived and confronted the man, “an officer-involved shooting ensued,” Celano said.

The armed man fled back into the apartment complex with his firearm, Celano said. The officer was not injured and it was not clear if the man with the firearm was injured, he said.

Police initially said the man had fired his weapon, but later said they could not confirm that. The firearm still had not been found by early evening, officials on scene said.

A SWAT team responded, with multiple armored trucks pulling through a nearby Stater Bros. parking lot and armed officers hanging off the side of a helicopter.

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Police from multiple agencies responded to a search for an armed man in Tustin on April 10, 2014. (Credit: KTLA)

Just after 2 p.m., a SWAT officer told reporters that a suspect was taken into custody.

He was identified as Henry Justin Herrera, 20, and police displayed his photo at the scene.

“Please do not confront him. He is considered armed and dangerous,” Celano had said. “We want everyone that lives in this area to be vigilant, to stay in their homes.”

He had asked area residents to remain inside their homes and call 911 if they see anything suspicious. A reverse-911 call had alerted residents to the threat, he said.

The armed man was described as a Latino in his late teens to early 20s, 5 foot 9 inches tall and clean shaven. He was wearing a black-and-white baseball cap, a blue sweatshirt and a blue-and-green plaid shorts, Celano said.

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A helicopter was being used amid a SWAT response to an armed gunman in Tustin on April 10, 2014. (Credit: KTLA)

Seven school campuses were placed on a “soft lockdown,” Tustin Unified School District spokesman Mark Eliot said.

The lockdown entailed “heightened awareness,” locked gates and increased scrutiny of identification cards, and moving outdoor activities closer to buildings, Eliot said.

The following schools were affected, he said: Tustin High, Currie Middle School, Utt Middle School, Beswick Elementary, Lambert Elementary, Nelson Elementary and Marjorie Veeh Elementary.

Helen Estock Elementary was not placed on lockdown, Eliot said, correctly earlier information distributed incorrectly.

KTLA’s Jennifer Thang, Chip Yost and Steve Kuzj contributed to this report.

Correction: An earlier version of this story spelled the Tustin Police Department chief’s name incorrectly. The post has been updated.


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