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West Covina SWAT officer kills suspect in hostage drama

February 14, 2010 | 10:15 am

Lanow.covina A man holding one person hostage in a West Covina home was fatally shot early Sunday by a SWAT officer, authorities said.

West Covina police responded to a report of shots fired in the 1800 block of West Badillo Street about 10:20 p.m. Saturday, L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputy Lillian Peck said.

After their arrival, the man took one person hostage while three other people remained inside the home. A hostage negotiator was brought to the scene, who spoke on the phone with the suspect and the hostage, Peck said.

Just after midnight, a shot was heard from inside the home and the suspect was seen through an upstairs window holding a handgun to the hostage’s head, Peck said. A West Covina SWAT team member fired one shot that struck the suspect in the upper torso, Peck said.

The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. His name was not released, pending family notification.

The four people inside the home were unharmed. No other information was available. The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department is investigating.

-- Corina Knoll

Photo: A West Covina police officer stands guard as emergency response clean-up workers view the bullet hole and shattered upstairs window at the scene of an officer-involved shooting in West Covina. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Learn more about more than 100 fatal officer-involved shootings in L.A. County since January 2007 on The Times' interactive Homicide Report, which documents all deaths determined by the county coroner to be at the hand of another person.