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Six-year-old boy held at gunpoint in El Monte

December 23, 2008 |  4:46 pm

A boy held hostage for two hours in an El Monte Chinese restaurant was shot in the leg during a rescue by SWAT officers, according to TV reports.

KABC-TV reports that two explosions and possible gunfire were heard at the eatery just before 5:30 p.m., but police did not provide any details. Video footage showed officers carrying the boy out of the restaurant and putting him on a stretcher. KABC-TV reported the boy suffered a leg wound and was taken to a hospital.

The boy, who is believed to be about 6-years-old, was taken hostage about 3:20 p.m., according to Det. Ralph Batres of the El Monte Police Department. Batres said the suspect, who appears to be in his 30s, grabbed the boy on the sidewalk.

When a police officer nearby noticed and tried to detain the man, the man pulled the boy into Tai Pan Chinese Food, at 3580 Santa Anita Ave. About 100 officers were on the scene, and some of them were inside the restaurant with the boy and suspect, Batres said.

Employees and patrons in the restaurant and neighboring businesses were evacuated, and nearby streets were closed to traffic.

--Kate Linthicum