Standoff Ends In Apparent Suicide

MT. HELIX -- The Labor Day SWAT standoff that lasted more than 15 hours on Mt. Helix ended early Tuesday morning with the apparent suicide of the gunman.

Just after 2 a.m. the San Diego Sheriff's Department issued a press release declaring the incident over.

According to the Sheriff's statement, a robot was deployed inside the house to check on the suspect. Just before 1:00 a.m., the suspect’s body was found in the master bedroom with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The Medical Examiner’s Office will determine the cause and manner of death, as well as identify the body following notification of next of kin.

Deputies said the 9900 block of Grandview Drive is now open. Detectives with the Lemon Grove Sheriff’s Station will remain on scene to continue the investigation.

The event started Monday just after 10 a.m. when deputies responded to a domestic violence call. A woman informed deputies that her fiancé had been drinking and was threatening violence. While talking to the woman, the suspect threatened to kill the deputies. Seconds later, shots were fired inside the house, triggering the standoff and response from Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Detail (SED/SWAT) and Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT).

The Sheriff's Department publicly thanked the American Red Cross, CALFIRE Tactical Medics, California Highway Patrol (CHP), Carlsbad Police, the Escondido Police and the La Mesa-Spring Valley Unified School District for the use of Murdock Elementary School as a command post.

Classes will resume at Murdock Elementary at 8:10 a.m. Parents who have questions can call the school at (619) 668-5775.

CLICK HERE to read earlier report from eyewitnesses.

CLICK HERE to read original incident coverage.

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Tags: Crime, La Mesa Today, La Mesa newspaper, Mt. Helix, Mt. Helix standoff

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Comment by David Stanley on September 3, 2013 at 9:53am

I, like everyone else, followed this story because of the proximity. Really just up the hill from our home. Over many years I found myself involved with quite a few of these types of incidents, many where the "suspect" finally ends his ( seems to be almost always men involved) life. As a SWAT member or K-9  I generally ended up going in shortly after the final shooting and was always saddened unless the perpetrator had committed some heinous crime. This was one of the really sad ones it would appear and we are all losers for the incident.

Comment by Marie McLaughlin on September 3, 2013 at 7:53am

Thank goodness that ordeal is over without additional fatalities; however, the reverse 911 calls to our home in Mt. Helix area at 2 AM and 4 AM were not exactly appreciated.  The first recorded call told us to remain in our homes and avoid Grandview Dr. as the suspect was still at large.  The second call informed us that the crisis was over but to still avoid Grandview unless a resident.  I suspect there will be a lot of sleepy La Mesa residents going about their day this morning.  The SWAT team apparently did a marvelous job, and for that we are grateful.

Comment by chris shea on September 3, 2013 at 7:03am
Good job of reporting. Thorough and well written.
Sad story for the family. My prayers go out to all concerned.

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