A person was found dead more than 11 hours after officials said he barricaded himself inside a Bell Gardens apartment after allegedly shooting at two officers on Thursday.
The incident began about 9:30 a.m. near the intersection of Jaboneria Road and Eastern Avenue when two officers spotted a group of people known to police and tried to contact them.
One of the individuals ran away from the officers and allegedly turned around and fired at the officers, who returned fire, Bell Gardens Police Chief Scott Fairfield said.
The officers were not struck during the exchange, but it is unclear if the individual was hit by police gunfire. It is unclear exactly what led up to the shooting.
The suspect continued running into an alley and allegedly barricaded himself inside an apartment in the area where police believe he or his family lived.
Additional officers, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department helicopter and a crisis negotiation team responded to the scene. Officials have been in contact with the person’s family members who have spoken to him and Fairfield indicated the person has made “concerning comments and statements.”
“We won’t be leaving until we take him into custody,” Fairfield said as the incident stretched into the evening hours.
Schools in the area were placed on lockdown, and police indicated they were in “constant contact” with local campuses to ensure the safety of students.
Eastern Avenue between Clara and Fostoria streets were closed to traffic, as well as Jaboneria Road between Gallant Street and Muller Street during the hourslong incident.
Officers fired tear gas into the home in an attempt to flush out the suspect about 7:15 p.m., officials said.
A team of officers then made their way into the home about 8:45 p.m., where they found the suspect unresponsive, police said in a written statement.
It was not immediately clear whether he had been wounded in the exchange of gunfire with police or had taken his own life.
Anyone with information about the incident or the person involved can call the Bell Gardens Police Department at 562-806-7600.
Updated Officer Involved Shooting Press Release pic.twitter.com/zIZeHSZ1CA
— Bell Gardens Police (@BellGardens_PD) February 7, 2020