A man sought by Westminster police in connection with the 3-year-old slaying of his estranged wife was arrested Thursday night in North Carolina after he held officers at bay for six hours and then shot himself in the chest.
Terry Gilbert Hannum, 53, had barricaded himself in the apartment of an acquaintance when police in Asheville, N.C., tried to serve a warrant on him for allegedly breaking into the residence, Detective Barbara Wolfe said.
During the six-hour standoff, Hannum talked on the telephone with police, gave them his real name and said that he was wanted for the slaying of his wife in California, Wolfe said. Police said he had been using the alias of Terry Capra, and a computer check of the name Hannum turned up the outstanding murder warrant.
Then, as Hannum talked on the telephone to the female acquaintance who had brought the breaking-and-entering charge against him, he shot himself with a .38-caliber gun, and police rushed in, Wolfe said.
He was listed in serious condition Friday at Memorial Mission Hospital in Asheville.
Westminster Police Lt. Bob Burnett said that Hannum is wanted in the July, 1984, slaying of Shirley Jean Hannum, 36. According to a news account of the slaying at the time, Shirley Hannum was shot to death in a car parked in the 13600 block of Beach Boulevard in Westminster. Officers at the time said a Fountain Valley man identified as Hannum fled the area in a car, which was later found in Stanton.
Detective Wolfe said Hannum had recently broken into the apartment of the female acquaintance and held her captive for a week. The woman, whom police did not identify, was able to free herself and went to police.
The woman had warned police that Hannum was armed and dangerous, and officers tried in vain to persuade Hannum to surrender.
Instead, he "wanted to stay on the phone and talk" to police and the female acquaintance, Wolfe said. "He said he needed time to think. He told us his whole life story," including his real name and that he was wanted for murder in California.
Lt. Burnett said Westminster police have "been looking for (Hannum) for three years. . . . We knew he was using assumed names."
Authorities are expected to seek extradition of Hannum, Burnett said.