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2 found dead in Huntington Beach home; murder-suicide suspected

May 25, 2011 |  6:40 pm

Two people were found dead in a Huntington Beach home Wednesday in an apparent murder-suicide  after an eight-hour standoff with police, authorities said.

Neighbors of the couple in the 8600 block of Garfield Avenue heard arguing and gunshots Wednesday morning. Huntington Beach Police Lt. Russell Reinhart said it was unclear whether the bodies were those of the homeowners, whom he described as a couple in their 50s with no previous brushes with the law.

A SWAT team used explosive charges to enter the residence. The first charge was set off about 2:30 p.m. to open an iron security gate, which had prevented police from entering the property. More security gates were found inside the house. Additional charges were used before police entered the home shortly before 4, Reinhart said.

The person who called police about 8:30 a.m. described hearing arguments followed by gunshots, then someone shouting, “Oh, my God,” before another gunshot, Reinhart said. The same account was given to police by residents who spoke to officers on the scene.

Four nearby streets were blocked off and six homes were evacuated, Reinhart said.

Scott Osterhout, who lives around the corner, said he heard what turned out to be shots about 8:30 a.m. before leaving for work, but didn’t think much of it at the time.

“It was loud. I thought it was a car,” he said.

Osterhout said he heard three shots before a pause and then a fourth shot.

The investigation is ongoing.


SWAT officers preparing to enter Huntington Beach home after shouts, gunshots heard

-- Mona Shadia in Huntington Beach

Photo: Huntington Beach SWAT officers prepare to enter the home. Credit: Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times