Man found dead from apparently self-inflicted gunshot after lengthy standoff in El Monte

EL MONTE — A 10-hour standoff with a suicidal man at an El Monte home came to an end Thursday after a SWAT team forced their way in and found him dead from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said.
The man, whose name was not available late Thursday, was initially described as 36 years old, El Monte police Sgt. Roger Cobian said.
The incident began shortly before 8 a.m. when family members of the men reported he was suicidal at a home in the 4500 block of La Madera Avenue, officials said.
Firefights arrived at the scene first, but backed off after learning from family members that the suicidal man may be armed with a handgun, Cobian said.
Shortly after officers arrived, they heard two gunshots from within the house, Lt. Dan Burlingham said. Officers did not see where the gunfire was directed.
Officers called for a SWAT team, which arrived at the scene about 8:30 a.m, Burlingham said.
In the minutes following the shooting, police received several 9-1-1 calls from within the home in which the caller immediately hung up, Burlingham said.
Knowing the suicidal man was the only person inside the home, he said, police took the calls as a sign that the suicidal person was still inside and alive.
Police learned the man they were seeking is a convicted felon who already had two strikes, as well as a $40,000 warrant for his arrest stemming from a narcotics case, Cobian said. His prior convictions included robbery and weapons violations.
Throughout the morning and afternoon, “We made numerous attempts to call and text his phones,” Cobian said.
Officials also used a robot to bring a phone into the home about 2:30 p.m. with no response, he added.
Cameras on the robot saw no one inside the home, but there were several closed doors which the robot could not peer into, Cobian said.
Worried family members of the man gathered outside yellow crime scene tape set up by police and anxiously waited for word on the outcome of the lengthy standoff. They did not wish to comment for this story.
As evening approached, SWAT team members began firing canisters of chemical irritant — more than a dozen — into the home in hopes of forcing the man out.
When that failed to produce results, SWAT team members made their way into the house about 6 p.m.
They discovered the body of the man inside a bedroom, dead from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Family members broke into tears and consoled each other upon receiving the news.
Homes surrounding the SWAT operation were evacuated as a precaution, Cobian said. Residents who were particularly close to the affected home were shuttled to safety via armored truck.
The nearby Community Day School was went a voluntary lockdown as a precaution, but dismissed students at the normal time, officials said.

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