LA MIRADA — A Los Angeles police SWAT team shot and killed a man Thursday wanted in connection with a double-slaying in Los Angeles last year, authorities said.
The dead man was initially described only as 27 years old, according to LAPD Commander Andrew Smith.
The incident took place about 8:30 a.m. on Escalona Road, near Cheshire Street.
An LAPD SWAT team joined with an FBI fugitive task force and went looking for the man, who was identified in a suspect in a Nov. 2011 double-slaying in the Hollenbeck area of Los Angeles, the Commander said. An arrest warrant for the suspect was issued in January.
When police surrounded the home where the suspect was believed to be ordered him to exit, “He opted to run out and shoot at our officers,” Smith said.
The man ran out the back door of the home, climbed onto the roof of a neighbors home, drew a firearm and fired a shot toward the 15 or so officers attempting to arrest him, Smith said. Officers returned fire, fatally wounding the suspect.
No police officers were injured in the incident, LAPD Officer Rosario Herrera said.
The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.
Nearby Escalona Elementary School was briefly locked down as a precaution following the shooting, officials said.
The man shot to death Thursday was suspected in the Nov. 20, 2011 shooting deaths of Arturo Gomez, 31 and Jesus Rendon, 36, in the 2100 block of City View Avenue in Boyle Heights, LAPD officials said.
The men were standing outside just after midnight when the fatal attack took place, LAPD officials said in a written statement.
“Five (then-)unidentified suspects walked up to Gomez and Rendon and one of them began fighting with Gomez,” according to the statement. “Gunfire then erupted from within the suspect group, and both Gomez and Rendon were shot.”
Gomez died at the scene of the shooting, while Rendon died at a hospital a short time later.
Escalona Road resident Michon Munoz said she was asleep in her home when she was awakened by the sound of a helicopter.
“All of a sudden, I heard seven gunshots,” she said. “We came out, and everybody was in my front yard running around.”
Nearby resident Michael Liberto said he was walking down the street when he noticed police preparing for something big. When he saw officers putting on bullet-proof vests and helmets, he decided it was time to walk in the other direction.
“I saw my neighbor lady walking her dog. I shooed her into her house,” Liberto added.
“The next thing, I hear, ‘pop pop pop.'” he said. “It was at least eight shots. They had to have killed somebody.”
The dog-walking neighbor, Lorraine Swickard, said she was not aware of anything unusual before two neighbors told her to get inside.
“I didn’t know what the heck was going on,” Swickard said. “I was just taking my dog out for a walk.”
Several neighbors described the neighborhood as normally quiet and said the violence Thursday morning came as a shock.
Authorities cordoned off the area as they investigated the incident. The investigation is being handled by the LAPD, as well as the FBI.