BELL GARDENS (CBSLA) — Following a nearly 12-hour standoff, a 17-year-old boy suspected of opening fire on officers near Bell Gardens Elementary School Thursday was found dead from what was likely a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
According to Bell Gardens police, the situation unfolded at about 9:30 a.m. near Jaboneria Road and Eastern Avenue when two officers tried to stop two teen suspects who were known to them. The two ran away on foot, and in the process, one of them opened fire on the officers. The officers returned fire, police said.
A massive multi-agency search ensued and a perimeter was established. Bell Gardens Elementary School was temporarily put on lockdown and parents were contacted to pick up their children as a precaution.
“I hope they catch him because it’s a concern for everybody,” parent Elvis Olivares said.
Police eventually determined that the suspect who had opened fire on them was hiding inside an apartment, possibly with a female, and had threatened to kill himself. Surrounding streets were shut down.
“SWAT teams, battering rams, K-9 units coming by,” resident Robert Ricoy said. “They actually had somebody right here on Gotham, threw a couple of flashbangs and everything, sent the dogs in there and came up empty.”
At around 7:15 p.m., police fired tear gas into the building hoping to draw the teen out. At 8:45 p.m., officers entered to find him dead from what was likely a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was not identified.
Police said the second suspect, a 15-year-old boy, was found in a separate location and taken into custody. It’s unclear what the two boys had been wanted on.