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Slaying suspect found wounded after police standoff

June 11, 2009 | 10:49 pm

A slaying suspect from Kansas City was in critical condition Thursday with a self-inflicted gunshot wound after a Los Angeles County sheriff’s special weapons team found him in a Gorman motel room where he had barricaded himself for about eight hours, authorities said.

The standoff began about  7 a.m. when a California Highway Patrol officer checked an Oklahoma license plate on a 2000 Dodge Dakota pickup truck parked outside the Econo Lodge in the 49700 block of Gorman Post Road, deputies said.

The officer found that a murder warrant had been issued in Kansas City, Kan., for Franklin L. Grammer Jr, 53, who had registered at the motel. Deputies said the officer requested help from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, which sent in crisis negotiators and a special weapons team.

Negotiators spoke with Grammer by telephone for several hours, but he hung up on them about 12:30 p.m., and contact could not be reestablished. After tear gas was fired into the room, officers went inside and found Grammer in bed suffering from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the upper body.

Deputies said a pistol was found in the room. Grammer was air-lifted to a hospital in critical condition. The Sheriff's Department said that, except for the tear gas, deputies did not fire their weapons during the incident.

-- Dan Weikel