A camouflaged gunman was killed and a six-year-old hostage shot in the leg during a two-hour stan-doff with police that began when the man snatched the child off a sidewalk and barricaded himself in a Chinese restaurant east of Los Angeles.
The man was declared dead at the restaurant in El Monte last night soon after gunshots were fired, said Los Angeles County sheriff's Sgt. David Infante. He would not say who fired the shots or how the gunman died.
The gunman, wearing a camouflage jacket and blue jeans, grabbed the boy and took him into a back room of a Chinese restaurant where he held him hostage with a handgun, said El Monte police Detective Ralph Batres.
Batres said the man did not appear to know the boy, and could not say who was with the child when he was taken. No names have been released.
Authorities negotiated with the man for about two hours before a flash-bang grenade exploded and gunshots were fired inside the building. Shortly afterward, authorities took the boy out on a stretcher and put him in an ambulance.
The boy suffered a gunshot wound to the thigh and was in critical but stable condition at a nearby trauma center, said county fire dispatcher Brendon Peart.
Batres said the standoff began after a police officer saw the gunman grab the boy and head into the restaurant. The man ignored the officer's orders to stop and barricaded himself inside a back room, Batres said.
Police closed nearby streets and shoppers were evacuated from neighboring stores as dozens of police officers and other emergency crews surrounded the restaurant.
One employee of a nearby Mexican restaurant said the gunman had the boy in a headlock and held a gun to his head as he sought a place to hold the hostage.Reuse content