A SWAT standoff ended peacefully after San Diego police took a suspect into custody at an apartment near the Westfield Mall UTC in University City on Friday night.
Police officers evacuated Torrey Pines Village apartment complex in the 8900-block of Lombard Place at around 4:35 p.m. after a relative of the suspect called and said he was making threats that “he was going to kill his girlfriend or that he already killed his girlfriend,” according to SDPD Lt. Kevin Mayer.
Lt. Mayer said the suspect also made threats that he would hurt or kill law enforcement.
Officers rushed to the complex and surrounded the area. They also called in SWAT officials and a standoff ensued.
“As this continued to unfold, there were threats made against the police that he was going to kill officers,” said Lt. Mayer. “Based on our records, we knew that he had access to multiple firearms.”
Several police vehicles swarmed the scene, along with K-9 unit. A police helicopter circled the apartment building telling residents to stay inside their homes.
Neighbors and witnesses said they heard the commotion.
“I just heard some guy killed his girlfriend in our apartment complex,” said resident Wenteo Pan.
The incident left witness Rolando Matias feeling uneasy.
“It always comes into mind that something could happen. You never know,” Matias told NBC 7.
“It’s frightening. You never really know who your neighbors are,” added witness Jackie Massaro.
Police were able to track down the suspect’s girlfriend on the grounds of the apartment complex. Lt. Mayer said the woman was safe.
About an hour after the standoff began, the suspect (pictured below) surrendered to police without incident. He was detained at the scene for questioning.
Lt. Mayer said investigators would work to determine why the suspect made those threats and whether he would be charged.
“It’s not normal to make threats to kill somebody – whether it’s a girlfriend or police officers,” added.
Lt. Mayer. “We’re looking at the totality of the circumstances.”
Officials said the suspect lives with his girlfriend in a unit inside the complex, and owns a number of firearms. Investigators will also look into registration details for those firearms.
Officers remained at the scene for several hours collecting evidence. Residents were eventually allowed back inside their homes.