Police have identified the man who died after threatening to blow up a federal building during a two-hour barricade incident in Long Beach, and said the weapon he was carrying was actually a toy gun.
Oregon resident Donald McFarlane, 53, was shot by SWAT officers in the Thursday incident after pointing the imitation firearm at them and later died in the hospital, Long Beach police said in a news release Friday.
The standoff, which began around 4 p.m., prompted a lockdown at City Hall after McFarlane told authorities he had explosives in his white Chevrolet van parked in the 300 block of Ocean Boulevard, a short distance from the Glenn M. Anderson Federal Building.
Official were originally asked to respond to a hysterical woman who told police her husband was armed with a gun and threatening to blow up the government building.
Responding officers contacted the man inside his vehicle, and noticed the gun McFarlane was carrying when he stepped out of the van. When asked to put it down, he refused to comply and claimed he had explosives, police said.
A perimeter was set up around the area and SWAT officers responded, while City Hall was evacuated and civilians ordered to leave the area.
Crisis negotiators worked to get the McFarlane to drop his weapon for nearly two hours, but he repeatedly refused, according to police.
By 6 p.m., SWAT officers executed a tactical plan that involved rubber baton rounds, gas and a police K-9, authorities said. But McFarlane was shot after pointing his handgun at officers.
It was unclear how many officers discharged their weapons and how many shots were fired. McFarlane was struck at least once and subsequently taken to a hospital, where he was later pronounced dead, police said.
No one else was harmed amid the standoff, and the Los Angeles County sheriff’s bomb squad determined no explosives were inside the van.
Authorities are now investigating the motives behind McFarlane’s actions and have uncovered other incidents involving him and explosives in the local area, police said.
A bomb squad searched two vans in a garage he was renting in the 600 block of Elm in Long Beach but determined there were no explosive. And, in the 18000 block of Tulsa Street in Granada Hills, a “box truck” owned by McFarlane was secured by the Los Angeles Police Department, but again no explosives were found.
It was unclear when exactly those incidents occurred and who reported them.
The L.A. County District Attorney’s Office is conducting its own investigating of Thursday’s incident.