L:A CRESCENTA — Coroner’s officials Sunday released the name of a 33-year-old man sheriff’s officials said fatally shot himself at the end of a five-hour standoff inside a La Crescenta cell phone store on Black Friday.
Shawn David Weissenborn of Santa Clarita died at the scene of the standoff, which unfolded Friday afternoon and evening at a shopping center in the 2600 block of Foothill Boulevard, just east of La Crescenta Avenue, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Investigator Dana Bee said.
An autopsy had not been completed Sunday, Bee said.
The unusual incident began shortly after 4 p.m. with a robbery at a nearby Rite-Aid Pharmacy, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Burton Brink said.
After demanding painkillers at gunpoint and receiving about 100 pills, Weissenborn fled into a neighboring cell phone store, Lt. Angela Shepherd said.
Though officials initially feared the gunman had hostages, it was ultimately determined everyone had safely exited the store when Weissenborn barged in.
The store is labeled with “Verizon Wireless” signage, but operates under the name, “Connect Wireless.”
Deputies, including SWAT team members and crisis negotiators, responded to the scene and began speaking with Weissenborn by phone, Brink said. He indicated during the conversations that he was preparing to surrender, but first wanted to call his mother and smoke a cigarette.
Deputies ultimately forced their way into the store and found Weissenborn dead, “apparently by his own hand,” according to Deputy Guillermina Saldana of the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau. No deputies fired their weapons during the incident.
Weissenborn had no violent criminal history in Los Angeles County Superior Court records, which listed a single conviction for drunken driving causing injury in 2009.
PASADENA — A police officer grabbed an apparently suicidal woman by the feet and pulled her back to safety as the scaled a fence along a freeway overpass Sunday, officials said.
Police received a call about 11:15 a.m. from a person reporting a family member was possibly suicidal and considering killing herself by jumping from a bridge, Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said.
The family member provided police with the 38-year-old woman’s name and description, and informed them she had last been seen in the area of Orange Grove Boulevard and Fair Oaks Avenue, the lieutenant said.
Officers began searching area bridges and overpasses when Officer Elgin Lee of the Homeless Outreach-Psychiatric Evaltion Team spotted the woman on the Orange Grove Boulevard overpass above the 210 Freeway, Clawson said.
“As the officer approached, she immediately began to climb the fencing,” he said. She had already gotten her upper body over the top of the fence when Lee grabbed her by the feet and pulled her down.
Officials took the woman to a hospital for psychiatric evaluation, Clawson said.
ARCADIA — A coroner’s investigation has determined a local man whose body was found at the bottom of a swimming pool earlier this died from drowning, and his death has been ruled a suicide, officials said Friday.
Greg Tser-Ming Chen, 35, was pronounced dead on the morning of Aug. 8 after a stranger discovered him unconscious in a backyard swimming pool in the 700 block of Camino Grove Avenue, according to Arcadia police and Los Angeles County coroner’s officials said. The pool was around the corner from Chen’s own home.
Chen’s pet golden retriever was found in the same backyard where his body was found, officials said. No trauma was discovered on his body, and foul play was not initially suspected.
Following an extensive coroner’s examination, investigators determined Chen’s cause of death was drowning and ruled the death a suicide, coroner’s Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said. The full autopsy report was not available Friday.
The coroner’s report noted that Chen had struggled with depression issues in the past.
His wife saw him open his safe before leaving the house with the dog, Winter said. Believing Chen was merely taking the dog for a walk, his wife did not get out of bed.
“She had hidden his gun and medication,” Winter said.
Shortly after his body was discovered, neighbors speculated Chen, who they described as friendly, may have clipped and fallen into the pool while chasing after his dog.
SAN GABRIEL — A man was hospitalized Wednesday afternoon after shooting himself in the head in front of police in a parking lot, authorities said.
The incident, which was being investigated as an attempted suicide, took place about 4:10 p.m. in a parking lot to the rear of the 800 block of East Las Tunas Drive, just east of San Gabriel Boulevard, San Gabriel police Lt. Andy Borrello said.
Police officers responded to reports of a man with a gun, the lieutenant said. “They encountered a despondent male holding handgun to his head.”
The man, who would not speak to police, then pulled the trigger, Borrello said.
Though he suffered a serious head wound, he was conscious when taken to Huntington Hospital in Pasadena for treatment, he said. An update on the man’s condition was not available, nor was his age.
WHITTIER — Coroner’s officials Thursday confirmed that an elderly man and woman found dead in their home earlier this week died in a murder-suicide.
The bodies of Gisela Hohensee, 83, and her husband Wilfried Hohensee, 85, were discovered by a family friend about 10:30 a.m. Monday inside the couple’s home in the 11800 block of Floral Drive, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Larry Dietz said.
Police initially suspected Wilfriend Hohensee fatally shot his wife before turning the gun on himself.
Autopsies confirmed that scenario, according to Dietz.
Gisela Hohensee died from a gunshot wound to the head and her death was ruled a homicide, the lieutenant said.
Wilfried Hohensee also died from a gunshot wound to the head, though his death was ruled a suicide, Dietz said.
A motive was not available Thursday. Police initially said they had been told the husband suffered from a variety of health problems.
The investigation was being handled by the Whittier Police Department.
EL MONTE — Suicide was suspect Saturday after a man’s body was discovered at the base of a parking structure, authorities said.
A security guard first notified authorities after seeing an unresponsive man lying on the ground about 11:15 a.m. in the 3300 block of Aero Jet Avenue, El Monte police Lt. David Vautrin said.
When officials arrived, they pronounced the man dead and determined he had taken a fall from the nearby parking structure, the lieutenant said. He was described as being in his early-60s.
He was initially believed to have jumped from the fifth floor of the eight-story structure, Los Angeles County Fire Department officials said.
The Los Angeles County Department of Coroner planned to carry out an autopsy to determine the man’s official cause of death, Vautrin said, however foul play was not initially suspected.
PASADENA — Suicide is suspected after the body of a 57-year-old Los Angeles man was found beneath the Colorado Street Bridge late Tuesday, officials said.
Officials responded to a report of a possible jumper at the bridge just after 8 p.m. to discover the body of a man lying in the wash below, Pasadena Fire Department officials said.
Paramedics pronounced the man dead at the scene, she added.
Though initially investigated as a suicide, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner investigators planned an autopsy do determine the man’s officials cause of death.
PASADENA — City officials earlier this week approved a plan to post suicide-prevention signs on Colorado Street Bridge.
The Pasadena Public Safety Committee approved the project at their meeting Monday, Pasadena spokeswoman William Boyer said.
More than 150 people have jumped to their deaths from the bridge since the bridges first recorded suicide in 1919, city officials said. The bulk of the suicides took place during the Great Depression, however 13 suicides have occurred at the bridge since 2006.
Some have come to call the structure “Suicide Bridge” because of the deaths that have taken place there.
In an effort to combat the issue and save lives, the committee approved plans to place bearing messages of hope and suicide prevention hotline phone numbers at the pedestrian entrances to the bridge, Boyer said. The final design of the signs was not complete, however officials were considering messages such as “There is hope,” and “You are not alone.”
The signs were tentatively expected to be put in place in August.
“The key point is that we value human life and we want to keep our residents safe,” Boyer said. “There have been studies that have been done. The survivors of attempted suicide, for the most part, regret their actions.”
“We’re coming up with language and a message to give people and extra moment to contemplate what they’re doing,” Boyer said.
He added that similar programs have been successful in other jurisdictions in helping to prevent suicides by giving those who are considering taking their own lives “an extra moment to pause.”
PASADENA — Suicide was suspected after a man apparently jumped to his death from the third floor of a parking structure early Saturday, police said.
The body of the man, described as a 22-year-old Los Angeles resident, was found about 4 a.m. on Fraser Alley at the base of a parking structure in the 00 block of De Lacey Avenue, Pasadena Lt. Jason Clawson said.
He was believed to have been drunking when he climbed to the third floor of the parking structure and apparently leapt from a stairwell, the lieutenant said.
No foul play was initially suspected, he said, however the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner planned an autopsy to determined the man’s official cause of death.
SAN DIMAS –California Highway Patrol officers closed two lanes and an offramp of the westbound 10 Freeway in San Dimas early Sunday as they investigated the apparent suicide of man believed to have jumped from the 57 Freeway overcrossing above, officials said.
Witnesses reported seeing the man plummet from the southbound 57 Freeway about 7 a.m., CHP Officer Monica Posada said.
He landed on the right shoulder of the westbound 10 Freeway, she said. The man was pronounced dead at the scene.
The two right lanes of the freeway, as well as the Kellogg Drive offramp, were shut down for several hours due to the investigation.