10-Hour Birdland Standoff With Armed Suspect Ends in Arrest

A woman called 911 at about 2:20 p.m. to report her daughter's friend entered their apartment and pointed a gun at them, according to SDPD Officer Scott Lockwood

NBC Universal, Inc.

A man who police say threatened a woman with an illegal "ghost gun" at a Birdland apartment was taken into custody early Wednesay following a 10 hour standoff with a San Diego SWAT team, authorities said.

Matthew Scott Lee, 25, was also manufacturing the unserialized and untraceable ghost guns inside his apartment off Cardinal Drive east of state Route 163, according to the San Diego Police Department.

Lee was arrested just after midnight following a 10-hour standoff.

He faces charges of assault with a deadly weapon, threats, probation violations and several charges for the illegal manufacture of firearms, polcie said.

The standoff started after a woman called 911 at about 2:20 p.m. to report her daughter's friend entered their apartment and pointed a gun at them, according to SDPD Officer Scott Lockwood. Police resonded and surrounded the apartment.

The standoff started at around 2 p.m. Tuesday and still wasn't resolved by 11 p.m. NBC 7's Omari Fleming has the details.

At one point the suspect came out of the apartment with his hands up and talked to officers before going back inside, Lockwood said.

"Due to the high-risk nature of the incident and the ongoing threat to the community, the SDPD Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team and the Emergency Negotiations Team were called to the scene," police said.

SWAT members in a heavily armored vehicle responded by about 4 p.m., and psychiatric negotiators also tried to coax the man out of the apartment, but the man holed up for several more hours.

Police believed the man was in the apartment by himself.

A man with a gun appears to be in the apartment complex on Mocking Bird Dr. and Cardinal Rd. reports NBC 7's Omari Fleming

After hours of unsuccessful negotiations, officers deployed flashbangs in the apartment unit. Those didn't work either.

The SWAT standoff was affecting neighbors who were unable to leave or get into their homes. An elementary school was also affected.

A next-door neighbor who was ordered to shelter in place told NBC 7 by phone he could hear police shouting the suspect's name and asking for him to come out.

Another neighbor said the situation had her rethinking her personal protection strategy.

"It's scary. I don't like guns. I don't want to own a gun, but I'm getting close to having one for safety if everyone else has them," Caroline Christianson said.

SDPD asked people to avoid the area and blocked off surrounding streets. The closures kept some from getting to their homes.

Bonnie Lashay said her mother, a resident of the neighborhood, was "blowing my phone up."

"She's just like, 'Where are you? Can you come? Can you try and find a backway?' They blocked off all entrances and exits," Lashay said.

The police activity also got in the way of parents picking up their children from nearby Fletcher Elementary. The San Diego Unified School District Police Department said 40 students were redirected to nearby Chesterton Elementary for pick up.

Lee eventually surrendered just after 12 a.m. Wednesday.

Contact Us