HEMET: Distraught man who fired gun apprehended after armed stand-off

HEMET — Officials from two San Jacinto Valley law enforcement agencies worked together Monday night to diffuse an armed standoff and safely apprehend a distraught man. According to witnesses the man had repeatedly fired a handgun into the air and was threatening to hurt himself.

Officials negotiate with a man who allegedly fired a handgun into the air and begged officers to shoot him. Timothy Franzese/Public Safety Incidents photo

Hemet PD officers responded to an apartment complex on Rosalia Avenue shortly before 9:30 p.m., after both city and county emergency dispatchers received multiple 911 calls and reports of shots fired at the location.

Officials radio traffic at the time indicated that callers were reporting that a man had fired several rounds from a handgun into the air before walking back into his upstairs apartment and shutting the door.

Based on the circumstances, a Sheriff’s K-9 handler and all available Hemet PD officers responded to the complex to assist Hemet PD. While en route to the location officials requested less-lethal options including bean bag shotguns, Tasers and pepperball rifles.

When officials arrived they found a man standing on a balcony outside a corner unit at the complex. The man was reportedly still armed with the handgun and refused to cooperate with authorities, leading to a tense standoff that lasted about an hour and a half.

As the incident was unfolding City of Hemet firefighter/paramedics and AMR medics were summoned to the area and staged nearby – ready to respond at a moment’s notice if needed.

While authorities negotiated with the man, several adjacent buildings in and around the apartment complex were evacuated, leaving countless area residents temporarily displaced. Officials also closed all access to the road where their vehicles could be seen clogging the street.

According to witnesses the man, who has not yet been identified, was upset that Child Protective Services wanted to take his children and medicate him. Throughout the ordeal, the man was heard crying and he repeatedly begged officers to shoot him.

As the incident was ongoing the man asked for a cigarette and lighter and promised he would come down if he could have a smoke. After he finished smoking the man calmly walked down the stairs where he was taken into custody without further incident.

It was not immediately known if the man was arrested or taken to a hospital for a mental health evaluation, but the man was driven from the scene in handcuffs.

Officials have not yet released any information regarding this incident and their investigation is ongoing.

This a developing story that will be updated as new information becomes available.

Click any image to open full-size gallery.


Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, who recently moved from Riverside County to Shasta County, runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers Valley News, The Valley Chronicle and Anza Valley Outlook as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 27 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 14 grandchildren.