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12-hour police standoff in Santa Monica ends in suicide

A gunman killed himself inside a Santa Monica home Wednesday after a nearly 12-hour standoff that involved two hostages, authorities said. 

After communication with the man broke down, SWAT team members fired tear gas and entered the home at around 4:30 a.m. and found the man dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Nobody else was hurt, said Santa Monica police Sgt. Richard Lewis.

Police say the 47-year-old man was despondent and depressed over his estrangement with his wife before he took his 15-year-old son and 86-year-old mother-in-law hostage on Tuesday. His wife wasn't home at the time.

The boy escaped and called 911, and police surrounded the home at around 5 p.m., evacuating about a square block and displacing many neighbors. 

The man's mother-in-law left the home some five hours later, and communication with police negotiators ended at that point. Throughout the ordeal, the man was armed with multiple weapons, Lewis said.

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-- Garrett Therolf

 
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