Police: Man barricaded himself inside Calif. patrol car

Authorities said the suspect barricaded himself in a police vehicle and fired a shot before surrendering to police


By Alma Fausto
The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.)

GARDEN GROVE, Calif. — A man who had barricaded himself in a police vehicle and fired a shot surrendered to police early Wednesday, authorities said.

At around 9:15 p.m., officers were called by mental health officials to an addiction-recovery home to assist with a case of a man who was showing signs of psychosis, according to Lt. Carl Whitney, spokesman for the Garden Grove Police Department.

While officials waited for an ambulance to transport the man, he was put inside a patrol vehicle.

“He was able to get access from the rear passenger side to the front side …and a high-powered (AR-15) rifle,” Whitney said.

The suspect fired one round inside the vehicle but did not hit anyone, Whitney said, adding that it was unclear whether he fired toward an officer.

Officers evacuated surrounding buildings, including apartment complexes, Whitney said. They also fired nonlethal projectiles at surrounding streetlights at one point to shoot them out, Whitney said, to darken the scene for tactical purposes during the stand-off.

Shortly before 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, the suspect surrendered to officers without incident.

“We surrounded the car with (armored vehicles) … to prevent it from leaving,” Whitney said. “They negotiated with the suspect and opened the back door. More negotiations took place and they were able to take the suspect into custody.”

During the standoff the suspect had the rifle in his hands but did not fire other shots after the first lone shot. No injuries were reported during the incident. The suspect’s name has not been released, but Whitney said the man is in his early 30s.

Whitney said that the department will be investigating how the suspect was able to get into the vehicle’s front compartment and access the rifle.

“Our police cars have videos in them so we’ll look into if they were on,” Whitney said. They will also investigate whether the firearm was locked.

“We’re just happy no one got hurt.”

©2018 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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