A 7-year-old child alerted police to an armed man hiding inside a closet in a National City apartment Tuesday as officers evacuated residents of the apartment complex.
According to the National City Police Department (NCPD), officers were called to a complex in the 2600 block of East 8th Street around 10:40 a.m. to investigate a reported disturbance between neighbors, specifically a complaint of one neighbor allegedly kicking the door of another resident’s apartment.
When officers arrived on scene, they smelled a very strong odor of marijuana wafting from a unit. A 23-year-old woman came out of the apartment, as well as a 20-year-old man, and they were detained by police for questioning.
Police said a 7-year-old child was found inside the apartment and that child told an officer there was another man inside the unit, hiding inside a closet with a handgun.
At that point, officers called for backup and surrounded the apartment. As a precaution, officials evacuated residents from two buildings in the apartment complex and took them to a nearby church while the police situation played out.
Eventually, a 26-year-old Chula Vista resident exited the apartment and surrendered to police. A handgun was found inside the home.
By 12:45 p.m., officials confirmed the incident was over and the scene was being cleared. No one was injured, police said.
In the end, the woman and man who were detained first were given misdemeanor citations for child endangerment. The man who came out of the apartment later was arrested and booked into San Diego Central Jail for violating a court order and for child endangerment.
This is the second time in less than one week that a San Diego-area apartment complex has been evacuated due to a neighborly dispute.
On May 28, a dramatic, 10-hour standoff ensued at a complex in Chula Vista after Michael Majerus, 42, fatally shot 43-year-old neighbor Nicholas Reynolds 19 times in a parking lot.
Majerus then barricaded himself inside his apartment with his wife, Laura, and their two children, armed with an AR-15.
Dozens of residents were evacuated from their homes as the lengthy standoff unfolded. After about eight hours, Majerus released his wife and kids, unharmed. A short time later, he killed himself inside the apartment, bringing the standoff to an end. Investigators said Majerus and Reynolds had a long-standing dispute over neighborhood issues.