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Man barricaded in veterans hall threatening to kill himself, cops say

April 25, 2014|By Frank Shyong
  • Police and emergency responders man a command post in Reseda as LAPD SWAT team surrounds the Disabled American Veterans Hall, where an armed man was barricaded.
Police and emergency responders man a command post in Reseda as LAPD SWAT… (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles…)

A man believed to be armed with a shotgun barricaded himself inside of a disabled veterans facility in Woodland Hills on Friday and has threatened to kill himself, authorities said.

Los Angeles police responded to reports of a barricaded gunman in the 6500 block of Corbin Avenue around 7:30 a.m., said Los Angeles police Cmdr. Andy Smith. Helicopters and a  SWAT team were dispatched to the scene and authorities have evacuated the surrounding areas, Smith added.

The man is not believed to be a veteran, but he worked in the military for six months, said LAPD Cpt. Charles Hearn, who did not specify which branch. The man was described as 52 years old and distraught. Caretakers at the facility called police, Smith said.

There were no hostages in the building, police said. 

The building is a gathering hall for the Disabled American Veterans, a veterans advocacy group. As of 11 a.m., the man had refused to surrender, although he came to the door several times and spoke with police.  

"We're talking to him as best we can," Smith said. "In a situation like this, time is on our side and we're going to take as long as we need to get him out safely."

A man who answered the phone at the veterans' hall identified himself as Jake Zimmerman and told The Times he was there to "make amends."

The man, who described himself as a military veteran, claimed that the leadership of the veterans hall mistreated a staff member at the hall and accused them of stealing money. He claimed someone at the hall shot at him on Friday morning, then ran away to call police. 

Police, however, said there were no reports of shots fired.

The man would not say if he was armed, but admitted to having two gun possession charges on his record.

"I'll probably be dead when this comes out," the man said. "I don't plan on giving myself up. I don't plan on shooting any police either."

Police could not verify any of the man's other claims, Smith said. 


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Twitter: @frankshyong

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