SHOOTER DEAD OF SELF-INFLICTED WOUND FOLLOWING MT. HELIX STANDOFF

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UPDATE September 3, 2013:  The Medical Examiner has identified the deceased shooter as Lionel Silva IIAt 2:16 a.m. the Sheriff sent an advisory that a robot confirmed the shooter is dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot.  Most of Grandview has been reopened to residents only, with the exception of Grandview Peak and Angel's Terrace. Murdock School, which was used as a command post, will be open for classes. Below is our earlier report.

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 2, 2013 (Mt. Helix) – A SWAT team standoff with a suspect who reportedly fired up to 200 rounds in all directions from inside a home at 9952 Grandview Drive  on Mt. Helix continues tonight. A Sheriff's advisory indicates the suspect, 47, is believed to be armed with a rifle, a shotgun and two handguns.

La Mesa Today reports that more shots were fired tonight around 10:30 p.m., according to Rick Winet, a La Mesa Spring Valley School Board member who lives next door to the suspect and is sheltering in place. However the Sheriff's media line has informed ECM that no shots were fired tonight and that the sounds were likely flash bang devices.

Just a short time before those shots, a Sheriff advisory indicated the suspect was nonresponsive to phone calls and a bullhorn used by SWAT team hostage negotiators after they deployed a non-lethal chemical agent to fill the house with smoke and cause watering eyes and a burning sensation in hopes of persuading the shooter to surrender.

The Red Cross has opened a shelter at Skyline Church, 11330 Campo Road in La Mesa, for residents displaced overnight. Residents currently in the area will not be allowed back in if they leave. Checkpoints are set up on Grandview at Lawler, Angel's Point, Resmar, and Gabriel. 

A command post has been established by law enforcement Murdock Elementary School, which is well within the one-mile radius where residents have been asked to shelter in place. Tonight, ECM reached La Mesa-Spring Valley School District Superintendent Brian Marshall to ask about safety of students if the incident continues beyond tonight.

"We've been in touch with the Sheriff throughout the day," Marshall said, adding that law enforcement has assured district officials that they will turn the school back over to the district tomorrow and that Sheriff's representatives believe it will be safe for students, parents and teachers. 

"We expect that classes will be held bright and early tomorrow morning," Marshall told ECM.  He added that the school is not within the  direct line of sight of the shooter and that he hopes the stand-off will be resolved by morning.  He also said the district has sent tweets to notify parents of the situation.

Asked if there are safety concerns for children who may walk to school using a path on the hill behind the school, he said school officials will confer with the Sheriff early in the morning and take protective actions if so advised.

A Sheriff's media line spokeswoman advised ECM that the area has not been cleared and she was not aware of the school being told it would be safe for children by morning.

The suspect whose identity has not been disclosed, is now alone in the residence according to law enforcement.  The home is located in an upscale neighborhood near the junction of Grandview and Divine Way. The home has a La Mesa mailing list within the unincorporated area.  According to Zillow.com, the house last sold in 2008 for  $955,000 and now has an estimated value of approximately $773,000.

The Sheriff made reverse 911 calls earlier today advising residents within a one mile radius to shelter in place with windows covered. Some homes have been evacuated but deputies were unable to go door to door for evacuations because they would be exposed to fire, according to a Sheriff's notice to media. Tonight, the Sheriff continues to advise homes within the one mile radius to stay indoors with windows and blinds closed.

The fiancé of the 47-year-old man holed up inside the house told deputies they had an argument and the man threatened to hurt her and himself. The man had been drinking, authorities report.

When deputies arrived on scene and tried to contact the suspect, the man threatened to kill the deputies. A few seconds later, shots were fired inside the house. Deputies immediately backed out of the house. Three other people inside the house got out safely and no one has been harmed.; deputies did not fire a shot, according to the Sheriff.

Repeated bursts of gunfire could be heard on scanner traffic and CBS News reported some 200 rounds were fired.

A Sheriff dispatcher earlier advised ECM editor Miriam Raftery, who lives within the perimeter established, that the gunman has a high powered rifle and fired in multiple directions. Raftery, located one block from Murdock Elementary and farther away from the shooting site, has received repeated notices from the Sheriff to shelter in place with windows and blinds drawn.

 

 

 

 

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Coverage

Thanks for the excellent coverage. 

Info from the Sheriff Office

 

SWAT Standoff unincorporated La Mesa Update #1
 
The standoff in unincorporated La Mesa is still ongoing. It is believed the suspect is armed with a rifle, a shotgun and two handguns. The rifle is a concern because of its range. The 47-year-old suspect is holed up in a one-story ranch-style house that’s about 3,000 square feet.
 
The suspect is not responding, despite the efforts of the Sheriff’s Crisis Negotiation Team to reach him by cell phone or bull horn.
 
There are reports deputies fired shots. That’s INCORRECT. A non-lethal chemical agent was used to fill the house with smoke causing a person’s eyes to water, throat and nose to burn in an effort to convince the suspect to surrender.
 
About four or five homes immediately surrounding the suspect’s house were evacuated. People who live in those homes did not request help with shelter.
 
For their safety, people who are sheltering in place are strongly advised not to leave their homes. As we mentioned before, the suspect is armed with a rifle and has been shooting in all directions. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your cooperation. You will be notified by phone as soon as the situation is resolved and when it is safe for you to go outside.
 
There are checkpoints set up at the following locations:
 
Grandview and Lawler
Grandview at Angel’s Point
Grandview and
Resmar Grandview at Gabriel