CULVER CITY ( — A street of Venice Boulevard was closed after authorites say a stabbing suspect barricaded himself inside an apartment before lighting it on fire.

Neighbor residents were evacuated from their homes as police and firefighters fought to contain the flames.

Police originally responded to a call of a man trying to stab someone. Two hours after responding on scene, the suspect barricaded himself in a resident’s apartment unit and threatened to light the building on fire.

Joseph Rodriguez, who knows the suspect, says he was just with him earlier today.

“It’s just crazy,” Rodriguez said. “I didn’t think he would do something like this, but the last few days I’ve seen him, he’s just been different.”

Authorities reported that two officers kicked the front door of the apartment down. One officer was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation. An elderly woman on the scene was also treated for smoke inhalation.

The suspect was arrested, and police had residents wait a few hours, as investigation proceeded, before letting them back inside their apartments.

Authorities say that the fire damage did not spread to any neighboring apartments.


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