Seven-hour SWAT standoff ends in Lemon Grove
LEMON GROVE (CNS) – A Lemon Grove man allegedly opened fire with an assault rifle out a bedroom window in his home today, wounding a neighbor and prompting a nearly seven-hour law enforcement standoff that ended when he surrendered following a bombardment of tear gas.
Several people made 911 calls shortly before 8 a.m. to report that Brandon Andrade, 28, allegedly was suffering a mental health crisis and firing an AR-15 in the direction of other people’s houses in the 8100 block of Longdale Drive, near Skyline Drive and Palm Street, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. ‘`Neighbors said that he was shooting his firearm at neighbors in (a) surrounding area outside of his home,” sheriff’s Capt. Amber Baggs told reporters.
Deputies arrived to find a woman who had been struck by bullet fragments while seated inside her parked car with her child
“We haven’t confirmed … if (the shooter) was directly trying to strike someone or (if) he was just firing rounds randomly,” the captain told news crews
Paramedics took the victim to a hospital for treatment of non-life- threatening injuries.
Andrade’s mother, who lives with him, was able to get out of their home safely as the crisis unfolded, officials reported.
When deputies arrived and made contact with the suspect, the ex- serviceman refused to exit his home and surrender, prompting authorities to call in a SWAT team, along with crisis negotiators and the sheriff’s Psychiatric Emergency Response Team.
During the ensuing stalemate, deputies were in communication with the suspect, who was alone in the house — possibly, according to family members, with access to more than one gun, Baggs said.
Sheriff’s personnel closed traffic lanes and cleared people out of eight surrounding homes as a precaution. Administrators at nearby Lemon Grove Early Childhood Education Center responded to the emergency by putting the facility on lockdown.
Neighborhood resident Manuel Cabrera described hearing four gunshots just after parking his truck upon getting home from work.
Cabrera told reporters he thought for a moment that the reports were a backfiring car engine, but realized what they actually were when he saw what appeared to be bullet holes in the victim’s windshield.
The witness described seeing the injured woman — who moments before had gotten into her Ford Mustang along with her son — jump out of the car and fall to the ground before running into her home along with the boy.
At that point, Cabrera said, the shooter opened fire on a truck traveling down the street.
“Then I smelled the gunpowder coming out,” Cabrera said.
Authorities urged those who live near the scene of the shooting but had not been evacuated to remain indoors until the situation was resolved.
“We don’t want anyone to get hurt,” Baggs said. “We want to offer help for this man as well as take him into custody for any crimes that may have been committed.”
About 2:45 p.m., after deputies fired tear-gas projectiles into Andrade’s home, the suspect walked out and surrendered peaceably.
Mental health clinicians will evaluate Andrade before he is booked into county on suspicion of three counts of attempted murder, according to sheriff’s officials.