A 47-year-old man who holed up inside his Santa Monica home after allegedly taking his elderly mother-in-law and son hostage was found dead early Wednesday morning from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to the police.
SWAT officers entered the home in the 2900 block of Delaware Avenue around 4 a.m. after making several attempts to coax the man out. They found his body in the bedroom with a single gunshot wound, according to public information officer Sgt. Richard Lewis.
UPDATE: Authorities ID Man Who Allegedly Took Family Hostage
The police responded to the house the shortly before 5 p.m. Tuesday on a call from a 15-year-old boy who said he had been tied up with rope by his father and that he managed to escape. The teen said his grandmother, 86, was still inside the house and being held by his father.
The woman emerged unscathed from the residence five hours later around 10 p.m.
Crisis negotiators had been in sporadic contact with the suspect throughout the night. When they lost contact with him about 1 a.m. Wednesday, officers used tear gas to try to force the suspect out, Lewis said.
Firearms are registered to the home, so the Santa Monica and Beverly Hills police special weapons teams were called. SWAT surrounded the house and evacuated neighbors in a roughly square-block area, Lewis said.
Lewis said the man was armed with a handgun and a rifle. His name was not immediately released by the authorities.
According to the city's alert sytem, Delaware is closed between Stewart Street and Centinela Avenue. Stewart is closed between Virginia and Olympic avenues.
Lewis said he expected investigators to remain on scene throughout the day Wednesday.
Police initially reported the suspect's wife was being held hostage but later said she was not at home when the son was allegedly tied up.
There may have been an ongoing dispute between the husband and his wife, according to Lewis.
Stewart Street resident Irma Puga said she arrived home from work as the police arrived. She saw one patrol car speed around the corner, followed by several more. Then she saw the teen run outside the house with a police officer.
Puga said she saw the boy's mom speaking with police. "We're hoping that everything turns out OK," Puga said.
— City News Service contributed to this report.