COVINA >> A man shot at passing cars, then opened fire on deputies who responded to the active shooter, before a SWAT team arrested him following an hours-long standoff on Sunday.
The incident began shortly after 9:30 a.m. with reports of a man shooting a gun along Cypress Street, west of Lark Allen Avenue
, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Elisabeth Sachs said.
“He was shooting at cars passing by,” the lieutenant said.
Deputies also came under fire as they rushed to the scene, she said. A patrol car was struck but no one was injured by the suspect’s gunfire.
“(Deputies) did not return fire based on the suspect’s concealed location near a house,” sheriff’s officials said in a written statement
The gunman fled into a nearby home, on Roxburgh Avenue just north of Cypress Street, and refused to come out.
Deputies evacuated nearby homes and summoned a heavily armed and armored SWAT team to take charge of the standoff.
At one point, deputies used an armored paramedic truck to pick up several elderly residents from the driveway of their home and escort them out of the neighborhood.
A crisis negotiation team made contact with the barricaded suspect and worked to persuade him to surrender. A crowd developed around the scene to watch the standoff, prompting deputies to place an armored vehicle between them and the armed, holed-up suspect as a shield.
The suspect posted live videos on Facebook during the incident.
In one short video streamed toward the outset of the incident, he’s seen outdoors sticking his tongue out, brandishing a pistol, and saying “Big Slick Low,”in an apparent reference to his nickname, while appearing to slur his speech.
In another recording posted two hours later, the suspect is seen talking with a negotiator on the phone while indoors.
“Tell your men to stand back, I’ll (expletive) walk out surrendering,” he said.
The man is also seen placing the handgun against his head and threatening suicide.
“Tell them to back off. I’ll shoot my (expletive) face off right now.
The suspect filmed himself as he fired two gunshots at arriving deputies. “They’re here, they know where I am,” he says before firing a shot.
“I’m sorry guys,” he said before firing a second shot. Arriving deputies could be heard ordering him to lie down and surrender.
The suspect ultimately gave up about 12:45 p.m. and was taken into custody.
Sean Vasquez, 20, was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon on an peace officer, sheriff’s officials said.
The motive for his alleged rampage was unclear.
Neighbor Cindi Arp said she left her Roxburgh Avenue house about 9:25 a.m. when she heard “pow, pow, pow.” She presumed the three to four noises were fireworks and continued on her way. As she rounded the corner onto Cypress Street, she heard another volley of noises, but again, took them for fireworks.
“My husband called me five minutes later and said, ‘you left at the right time. We have an active shooter,’” Arp said.
No injuries were reported during the incident.
According to county booking records, Vasquez was being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the sheriff’s San Dimas Station pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Tuesday in the West Covina branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.