(April 21, 2001) -- A neighborhood just northeast of downtown LB was ground zero for chaotic and terrifying events April 20 as a gunman shot and wounded an LBPD officer, seized a home, shot and wounded an adult resident and took two girls (ages 10 and 7) hostage.
After more gunshots inside the house and at police outside, SWAT officers used flash-bang grenades to enter the house and rescue the children while engaged in a firefight with the gunman. During the gunfire, two more LBPD officers and one of the children were injured (non-life threatening) and the gunman was killed.
Neighborhoods were sealed off for hours surrounding the two crime scenes, one near 8th and Orange where the first police officer was shot and wounded, and a second at 10th and Alamitos where the home invasion, hostage barricade and gunfire ended in the gunman's death.
Police units from non-downtown areas were taken from across the city, and Park Ranger units were visible at some locations.
TV helicopters hovered overhead, clearly audible across much of central and downtown LB, while news vans converged on the area to report the aftermath to late night news viewers..
LBReport.com LBPD compiled this account from information provided by LBPD:
At approximately 7:24 p.m., an LBPD officer on patrol heard a noise similar to firecrackers in the area of 8th and Orange. As he exited his vehicle to talk to a male Hispanic standing on the sidewalk, the suspect charged at the officer while firing numerous rounds at him, striking the officer in the cheek.
The officer returned fire, injuring the suspect. The injured officer immediately broadcast information over the police radio.
The gunman fled on foot, forcing his way into a house in the 1000 block of Alamitos Ave. then occupied by an adult male and two female children, ages 10 and 7. Once inside the house, the gunman shot and injured the adult male, pushed the injured man outside and barricaded himself in the house with the two children.
LBPD's SWAT team was activated while an on-duty member of LBPD's Hostage Negotiation Team made telephone contact with the gunman and attempted to talk him out of the house. While on the phone, police described the gunamn as extremely agitated. The gunman contined to fire shots inside the residence and at officers outside on the perimeter.
The SWAT Team made entry, rescued the girls and engaged in a firefight with the suspect. During the shooting, the suspect was killed and two SWAT officers received non-life threatening gunshot wounds.
One of the children was struck in the wrist by gunfire and transported to a local hospital. The adult male who had been previously injured by the gunman was also transported to a local hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.