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Long Beach man suspected of shooting code enforcement officer arrested

Man suspected of shooting an inspector before barricading himself in his 'blighted residence' is apprehended after a seven-hour standoff.

July 06, 2012|By Ruben Vives and Kate Mather, Los Angeles Times
  • After a seven-hour standoff, SWAT officers move in to arrest a Long Beach man suspected of shooting a code enforcement inspector before barricading himself in his house. The shooting occurred around 8 a.m. as code enforcement officers arrived with police backup to serve an inspection warrant at what was described as a “blighted residence” in the 6100 block of John Avenue, Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell said.
After a seven-hour standoff, SWAT officers move in to arrest a Long Beach… (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles…)

A Long Beach man suspected of shooting a code enforcement inspector before barricading himself in his house was taken into custody Thursday after a seven-hour standoff.

The shooting occurred around 8 a.m. as code enforcement officers arrived with police backup to serve an inspection warrant at what was described as a "blighted residence" in the 6100 block of John Avenue, Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell said.

"This residence has been a problem for code enforcement over the past few years," he said.

As the group stood in front, the man fired a shot from inside, wounding an inspector in the head. The injury was said to be not life-threatening.

"We feel extremely lucky and very, very fortunate the outcome was what it was," McDonnell said.

The suspect fired several shots throughout the standoff, he said, and at one point told officers to "shoot him."

SWAT officers used tear gas to force the man out from the house. At 2:43 p.m. he came out and began to walk away, but a police dog took him down. The suspect, whose name was not immediately released, was treated for a dog bite. He'll be booked on suspicion of attempted murder and possible weapons violations, police said.

Neighbors said the man's home and yard were filled with junk and other items and that he had received several notices from the city to clean up the property. Jill Lofton, 53, said she had known the man for 17 years.

"He looked like a homeless guy, but he really wasn't," she said. "If you got past that and you had started talking to him, you'd find out he was genuinely a nice guy. I think the city should have intervened in other ways, not just send code enforcement officers."

Lofton said that four years ago, city crews came with dumpsters and chopped his tree down and threw out furniture he had outside.

Another neighbor, 19-year-old Chris Miller, described the man as helpful and caring — but unkempt. The man's mother had recently died, Miller said, and the man "took it very hard."

ruben.vives@latimes.com

kate.mather@latimes.com

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