Man Holding Baby Daughter Hostage During Standoff in Covina Is Fatally Shot by Police; Family Questions Use of Force

An investigation is underway Monday following the deadly conclusion to an hourslong standoff between a man who was allegedly holding his young daughter hostage and Covina police.

A man is seen holding his infant daughter hostage in Covina on Nov. 26, 2017. (Credit: KTLA)

A man is seen holding his infant daughter hostage in Covina on Nov. 26, 2017. (Credit: KTLA)

The nearly 7-hour-long ordeal began about 3 p.m. Sunday when the man, identified by family members as 22-year-old Daniel Navarro, was sitting in a car with his girlfriend and 7-month-old daughter in the 700 block of North Glendora Avenue.

The couple apparently got into some sort of argument, prompting a response from the Covina Police Department.

At some point, the woman got out of the car but Navarro refused to exit.

Authorities said the man in the vehicle made threatening statements and was armed with a knife.

A witness described the interaction between Navarro and police.

"He picks the baby up and ... sometimes he'll put the baby in front of him to kind of like block the police," said Jean Claisse. "[The police] were saying 'We want to help you 'We want to help you'. And he was saying some bad words back to them."

One of Navarro’s sisters arrived at the scene and said he texted her that he was afraid to let the baby go because he was scared of what the officers would do to him if he was alone.

His mother remained at the scene for hours before the shooting, but wasn’t allowed to help diffuse the situation.

Officers said they feared for the girl’s safety because of the man’s statements and devised a plan to rescue her, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department stated in a news release Monday.

A loud explosion occurred at the front of the vehicle and officers immediately rushed in and pulled Navarro out.

Several shots were fired as Navarro was being dragged out of the vehicle.

The Sheriff’s Department later confirmed the man had been struck by gunfire multiple times in the upper torso after several officers fired at him. He died at the scene.

Authorities have not yet identified him.

The baby girl was not injured during the incident, according the Sheriff’s Department.

Navarro’s family questioned the use of force, saying he loved his daughter and would not have hurt her. Family members told KTLA that Navarro and his girlfriend were disputing the custody of their child.

"I never imagined that he would hurt anybody, his daughter especially," Navarro's aunt, Cecilia Hamilton said.  "I just feel that the situation got out of hand."

“He wasn’t trying to use the baby as a shield. He was just scared. He didn’t know what to do and he just looked for comfort,” Navarro’s sister Rayanne said.

Another sister, Katherine, told KTLA that police could have shot Navarro in the leg, and they didn't have to "overkill" her brother.

"They didn’t have to take him like that," Katherine Navarro said, adding that she wants justice for her brother.

Navarro’s body was taken from the scene under a white sheet shortly before 11 p.m.

No officers were injured during the incident.

KTLA's Cindy Von Quednow contributed to this story.