Coroner’s officials have released the identity of a 17-year-old boy who was found dead in Bell Gardens Thursday after trading gunfire with police, then barricading himself inside a home, authorities said.
Andrew Cortez of Bell Gardens was found dead about 8:45 p.m. when officers forced their way into the home near Eastern Avenue and Jaboneria Road following an 11-hour standoff, according to Los Angeles County Medical Examiner and Bell Gardens Police Department officials.
He was among a group of individuals who ran when approached by officers nearby about 9:30 a.m., police said in a written statement Thursday night.
“As the officers pursued the individuals, one of them turned and shot at the officers,” according to the statement. “Officers returned fire as the suspects continued to flee.”
One of the suspects was quickly apprehended, officials said. But the suspected shooter holed up inside an apartment complex.
Crisis negotiators were summoned to the scene, where police were told the suspect had made statements indicating he wanted to kill himself, police said.
Following hours of trying to persuade the suspect to surrender, tear gas was fired into the apartment about 7:15 p.m. in an attempt to flush him out, to no avail, authorities said.
A team of officers made their way into the home about 8:45 p.m. and found the suspect unresponsive. He was soon pronounced dead.
It remains unclear how the suspect died, whether from police gunfire or took his own life. An autopsy is pending.