Sniper ends standoff with police in Pittsburg

May 9, 2010 5:53:58 PM PDT
It was a tragic Mother's Day in Pittsburg after the police department's SWAT team ended a 24-hour standoff Saturday night by fatally shooting the suspect during an attempt to rescue his mother.

The 20-year-old parolee had been barricaded inside his apartment refusing to let his mother leave since Friday afternoon.

Pittsburg police say they fired tear gas canisters into the house and the 20-year-old suspect came out with a gun. SWAT team members were at the ready and a shot from a sniper's rifle around 5:30 p.m. Friday ended it all.

"It all just makes me very sad and I just can't believe it," said one witness. "He was putting his mother through this the day before Mothers Day."

The standoff started around 1:00 Friday afternoon when police say the man, armed with a gun, began intimidating his neighbors at an apartment complex on 2 Marina Blvd. Police evacuated about 40 units.

"We heard about, there's must have been about six or eight gunshots go off," a neighbor said.

When officers knocked on the suspect's door, he refused to come out and would not let his mother out either. Police say he threatened to kill himself and his mother. He also claimed to have explosives.

The man's name still hasn't been released, but investigators say he was a convicted felon with a history of mental illness and drug abuse. Police say he threatened to kill himself, his mother and the officers who tried to arrest him. His mother was in fear for her life and tried to get her son to put the gun down and surrender. Officers felt her life was in imminent danger, leaving them no choice, they say but to shoot him.

The Red Cross fed and housed around 19 families during the standoff until they could finally return home Saturday night.


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