Suspect found dead after standoff, fire at California home on Christmas Eve

Dec 24, 2023, 10:41 PM | Updated: Dec 25, 2023, 9:38 am

HERMOSA BEACH, Calif. (AP) — An armed man who faced off with officers at a California home for several hours on Christmas Eve was later found dead in the home’s garage, authorities told local media.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department responded to a 911 call on 11th Street in Hermosa Beach around 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, KTLA-TV reported.

A witness said neighbors heard an argument and saw a man with a gun who went into the two-story home and refused to surrender to police who arrived at the scene, KTLA reported.

The garage at the home caught fire shortly before 5 p.m., KTLA reported.

Hermosa Beach Police Chief Paul LeBaron said the suspect’s immediate family members, including children, fled before police arrived, KTLA reported.

“They came out and, at that point, the only person left inside that we were aware of was the suspect,” LeBaron said, adding that neighboring homes were evacuated.

Police reported hearing explosions, which may have been gunshots, but officers did not believe they were targeted, LeBaron said.

Firefighters and police who arrived at the scene did not attempt to enter the home and were unsure at the time if the armed man remained inside, the Daily Breeze newspaper reported, citing a fire official at the scene.

Firefighters set up a defensive perimeter around the garage to contain the blaze and prevent the fire from spreading to other buildings, the fire official told the newspaper.

At about 9:30 p.m., police and deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department entered the home to try to arrest the man and found him dead inside the garage, KTLA reported. His identity had not yet been released as of Monday morning.

The county coroner’s office will determine how he died and the cause of the fire is still under investigation by the county fire department.

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