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Man Held After 7-Hour Standoff

May 30, 1997|JOSE CARDENAS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

LITTLEROCK — A 41-year-old man who shot several rounds at a neighbor's home was arrested late Thursday after a seven-hour standoff that involved more gunfire, according to authorities. No one was injured by the shots.

Deputy Benita Nichol, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, identified the suspect as Joe Contreras.

The incident began at about 10:30 a.m. in the 9200 block of East Avenue T--8, located in a sparsely populated neighborhood in this Antelope Valley town.

Angered at his neighbor for unknown reasons, Contreras shot about 12 rounds into a house across the street from his, Nichol said. Contreras then barricaded himself in his house, she said.

A Sheriff Department's special weapons and tactics team, called to the scene, evacuated 12 homes in the area.

Also, students at Almondale Middle School about six blocks away were kept inside during the standoff and allowed to leave only if their parents picked them up.

At about 2 p.m. Contreras came out of the house and tried to leave in his car, but California Highway Patrol officers opened fire and disabled the vehicle, according to authorities. Contreras ran back into the house.

He came out two more times but again ran back inside.

Just after 5 p.m. the deputies sent in a dog that forced Contreras to come out, Nichol said. Contreras was arrested as he tried to get back inside.

Deputies recovered a rifle and a shotgun in Contreras' house, Nichol said.

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