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Suspect identified in El Segundo Popcornopolis hostage stand-off

April 16, 2013|By Andrew Blankstein and Joseph Serna
  • El Segundo police identify the woman they say held the chief financial officer of a popcorn company at gunpoint for several hours Tuesday as Leonora Banuelos.
El Segundo police identify the woman they say held the chief financial officer… (El Segundo Police Department )

An armed woman who authorities said held them at bay for several hours after taking the chief financial officer of an El Segundo-based popcorn company hostage Tuesday was identified as Leonora Banuelos.

Banuelos surrendered at 11:31 a.m. after a more than three-hour standoff at the corporate headquarters of Popcornopolis in the 1300 block of East El Segundo Boulevard, said Capt. Bob Turnbull.

Police said Banuelos, 21, took the company’s chief financial officer hostage at gunpoint and told all the other company employees to leave the building. 

The incident began about 8:15 a.m., when Banuelos, armed with a handgun, walked into the company’s corporate offices and ordered all the employees out except for the chief financial officer, Turnbull said.

She locked herself and the CFO in an office within the building, police said. Negotiators spoke with her over the telephone and persuaded her to let the executive go. Soon after, authorities persuaded her to give up as well.

In a video of her surrender, the woman appeared to be barefoot, wearing a pink shirt and denim shorts.

Police closed off the area for about 250 yards in each direction. There were no reported injuries. Four or five employees were in the business at the time, Turnbull said.

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Twitter: @anblanx |Facebook | Google +

andrew.blankstein@latimes.com

joseph.serna@latimes.com

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