Hundreds of Shots Fired in Mt. Helix Standoff

Neighbor: Terrified family ran for help

By Christina London, Paul Krueger, Lea Sutton and Wendy Fry
|  Tuesday, Sep 3, 2013  |  Updated 4:42 PM PDT
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    A man who fired hundreds of gunshots from inside a Mt. Helix home and held sheriff's deputies at bay for 15 hours was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound officials said.

    The incident started around 10 a.m. Monday in the 9900-block of Grandview Drive in unincorporated La Mesa.

    San Diego County sheriff’s deputies said a 47-year-old man began shooting an automatic rifle. He was later identified as Lionel Silva II (pictured below).

    NBC 7 spoke with Bob and Jen Prahl, who live across the street.

    “We started hearing some rifle shots and some sort of gun, and then after about the third or fourth shot, a woman and a daughter and two sons came running,” Bob Prahl said.

    The Prahls took the family inside their home and called 911.

    “They were crying. They were scared to death,” Jen Prahl said. “I was trying to calm them down because they were really shook up.”

    Officials said the suspect, who is the woman’s fiancé, was inebriated. The woman told authorities that she and Silva were arguing and he threatened to hurt the both of them.

    The suspect fired sporadic shots from the house, officials said.

    Deputies cordoned off a one-mile radius. Everyone inside the radius was asked to stay indoors. People in neighboring homes were evacuated.

    A staging area was set up at Murdock Elementary School. Family friends told NBC 7 that deputies interviewed family members there.

    Around 6 p.m., deputies used a chemical agent to force the man out of the home, according to the sheriff's department.

    Then, around 1 a.m. Tuesday, a sheriff's department robot discovered the suspect's body in the master bedroom. Officials said the man appeared to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

    Neighbors have been notified it is now safe to return to their homes, deputies said.

     


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