LA CRESCENTA (CBSLA.com) — An armed suspect was found dead inside a cellular phone store in the La Crescenta area after a nearly six-hour standoff with authorities.
The incident began around 4 p.m. when a man barricaded himself inside the Connect Wireless store in the 2600 block of Foothill Boulevard.
Members of the suspect’s family and a crisis negotiating unit were communicating by phone with the suspect, who was reportedly armed with several guns. No one else was inside.
A SWAT team was on the scene and all stores were evacuated by sheriff’s deputies.
A witness said the suspect robbed the neighboring Rite Aid pharmacy before barricading himself inside the cell phone store.
One man said he called the store to see what time they closed and the suspect answered.
“When I asked why the store was closed he told me that he had just committed armed robbery and that he was going to put a bullet through his head,” said the man, who did not want to appear on camera. “I was in shock, but I tried to talk to him to tell him to calm down.”
One witness described the scene as chaotic as shoppers ran to their cars.
Some people took shelter inside a nearby Ralph’s grocery store, and two vans could be seen pulling in to the store to bring them to safety.
No other details were immediately available.