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SWAT standoff at apartment complex ends with woman in custody

SAN DIEGO – A Clairemont Mesa woman upset over a noise complaint allegedly fired a gun through a neighbor's front door and then holed up in her own residence, prompting a police standoff that ended with her peaceful surrender about nine hours later.

The events that led to the non-injury gunfire began about 1 a.m., when a resident of an apartment complex in the 6300 block of Beadnell Way called San Diego police to complain that a neighbor was being disruptively loud, SDPD public-affairs Lt. Scott Wahl said.

Officers contacted the subject of the call, 35-year-old Brittany Lefler, told her she needed to quiet down and left.

About four hours later, Lefler allegedly confronted two neighbors, a man and a woman, on the grounds of the complex and threatened them with a pistol, sending them fleeing. The female victim ran into her apartment, and Lefler allegedly fired a shot through the closed front door.

The round entered the residence -- which was occupied by three people, including a 10-year-old child -- and passed harmlessly through an interior door into a restroom, Wahl said.

Lefler then retreated into her apartment, the lieutenant said. Police surrounded it, evacuated residents from nearby units and closed Beadnell Way in the immediate area along with a stretch of Balboa Avenue between Cannington Drive and Mount Abernathy Way.

After about three hours of trying in vain to talk Lefler into exiting her apartment, police officials called in a SWAT team to take up positions in the complex and prepare to enter the residence forcibly if necessary.

The stalemate continued through the remainder of the morning and into the afternoon. Finally, at about 2 p.m., the suspect walked outside and surrendered without further resistance.

"It's crazy, this doesn't happen on Beadnell Way, this is a long, quiet street in San Diego," Kurt Bassett said.

She was expected to be booked into county jail on suspicion of various charges, including resisting arrest and assault with a firearm.