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ENCINITAS, Calif. – A candlelight vigil Sunday was held in support of Evan Kim Tian Kwik’s family.

Neighbors, friends and family gathered on Del Rio Boulevard in Encinitas, outside the Kwik’s house where their 22-year-old son shot two sheriff’s deputies and was in a 10-hour SWAT standoff Wednesday, before taking his own life.

 

ENCINITAS, Calif. – The mother of the 22-year-old gunman, Evan Kim Tian Kwik, who shot two Sheriff’s deputies Wednesday then took his own life after a 10 hour SWAT standoff, talked about her son’s life-long struggle with mental illness and drug addiction.

kwik pic“He said he was going to kill himself for years,” said Michelle Kwik. “I had gone through his stuff [and] took out every knife I could find. I hid everything. I had no clue he had a shot gun.”

Michelle and Steve Kwik said there were signs that Evan had emotional problems as early as preschool.

“He struggled with self-esteem” said his mom.

He was self-medicating with drugs by high school and discovered heroin when he was 18.

“Once he hit heroin, heroin is evil, black tar heroin is rampant here. [Evan] even said to me, ‘Mom it’s in junior high school and high school now. It’s so sad,” she recalled.

The Kwiks said Evan was continuously in therapy and trying new medication to deal with depression, but he suffered serious negative side effects.

“He flipped our car on one medication, totaled it. He cut himself on one medication, he started having seizures on another,” said Michelle.

Evan’s father said they were attentive parents, who helped out in the classroom and always tried to encourage their son.

“When you self-medicate, you’re no longer in your own state of mind. You alter your state of mind. He wasn’t the same person,” said Steve Kwik.

As early as two months ago, Evan was admitted to the hospital as he was a danger to himself or others. Evan was released without her knowledge after 48 hours. Michelle Kwik believes this is where the mental health system failed.

“I said to her, on the phone, ‘how could you let him go? He’s going to kill himself. He could kill other people. He’s agitated and he coming off drugs.’ She told me, ‘he’s not talking to himself and he’s not walking circles around himself,’” she said.

Michelle Kwik admits when she called police Wednesday to report her car stolen, she hoped her son would be arrested and forced into rehab.  Never did she dream it would end with her son dead.

Her husband said they are sorry for the injuries sustained by the Sheriff’s deputies and grateful for how they handled the situation.

“No matter what you want or try they also have a will of their own and unfortunately it ended tragically and officers got hurt. Thank God more people didn’t get hurt.”

SAN DIEGO – The day after two of his deputies were shot by a person he described as mentally disturbed, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore called for improvements in the nation’s mental health system and universal background checks for anyone seeking to buy a firearm.

Sheriff Gore health graphic“I am tired of driving to San Diego not knowing if my deputy is going to live or die,” Gore said Thursday. “There’s not one solution to curbing this violence, but there are common-sense steps we can take to make it safer for my deputies and the public.”

Deputy Colin Snodgrass, 27, was shot in the leg, and Deputy James Steinmeyer, 31, suffered a grazing wound to the head in what Gore said was a confrontation with 22-year-old Evan Kim Tian Kwik at Kwik’s mother’s home in the Leucadia neighborhood of Encinitas.

Snodgrass underwent surgery and was listed in stable condition; Steinmeyer was treated and released. Kwik died, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, after a 10-hour standoff with a SWAT squad.

Kwik’s mother had received a temporary restraining order against him, citing emotional problems and volatility. She called deputies Wednesday after her son stormed into the house, officials said. After deputies attempted to subdue him with tear gas, he opened fire, setting off the SWAT action, authorities said.

Deputies entered the home shortly before 2 a.m. Thursday and found Kwik dead. A shotgun was found in the house.

Gore noted that four of his deputies had been shot in recent months. Two were wounded in September during a gun battle with a child-abuse suspect in Lakeside; both survived and underwent surgery.

“As a country, we have to start looking at this level of violence.  I don’t want to say that it’s only an attack on law enforcement, but the level of violence in our communities,” Gore said. “We have to do something to address our lack of mental health care in this country. The system has deteriorated in the last couple decades.”

ENCINITAS, Calif. – A 22-year-old man accused of shooting two deputies in Encinitas home – prompting a 10-hour SWAT standoff – was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound early Thursday, authorities said.

ENCINITAS, Calif. – Investigators Thursday identified a 22-year-old man and the two deputies he wounded before taking his own life during a 10-hour SWAT standoff at his mother’s home.

deputies shot during Encinitas standoff

Colin Snodgrass and James Steinmeyer

The standoff ended at about 1:30 a.m. Thursday when authorities sent a robot into the house in the 700 block of Del Rio Avenue and found the body of Evan Kim Tian Kwik. The 22-year-old man died from a self-inflicted blast from a 12-gauge shotgun found by his body, deputies said.

The incident began around 1 p.m. Wednesday with Kwik’s mother reporting that he was upset that she had recently obtained a restraining order against him and had taken off in her car, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

He returned to the home shortly after 3:30 p.m. and deputies Colin Snodgrass and James Steinmeyer went into the home with the mother’s consent and spoke with Kwik, investigators said. Kwik had hidden in the attic and would not come out, so the deputies set off tear gas. Kwik responded by firing with the shotgun through a ceiling vent, hitting both deputies, according to the sheriff’s office.

Snodgrass, 27, was hit in the leg and suffered serious nerve and muscle damage, authorities said. He will remain at Scripps La Jolla Hospital for two to three weeks, they said.

Steinmeyer, 31, was hit in the face by shotgun pellets. He was treated at the hospital and released Wednesday night.

Kwik fired the shotgun five times at the deputies and killed himself with a sixth round, authorities said. One of the blasts went through a wall of the house and a  fence, ending up in a neighbor’s couch, they said.

During the standoff, the Red Cross turned the Encinitas Community Center into a shelter for about 25 area-residents displaced by the police activity. Those residents were allowed back in their homes Thursday morning.

Kwik had a history of substance abuse problems and deputies had been called to his mother’s home three times in the last three years, investigators said. The most recent call was on Dec. 12, 2012, for a suicide attempt, they said.

An account at San Diego County Credit Union was set up by Deputy Sheriff’s Association for donations in support of Snodgrass’s recovery.

ENCINITAS, Calif. — A 22-year-old man accused of shooting two deputies and holding up in his mother’s Encinitas home — prompting a 10-hour SWAT standoff that displaced about 25 residents — was found dead of a self- inflicted gunshot wound early Thursday, authorities said.

swatThe incident in the 700 block of Del Rio Avenue near Leucadia Boulevard began around 1 p.m. Wednesday with a woman reporting that her adult son was upset that she had recently obtained a restraining order against him and had taken off in her car, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

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He returned to the home shortly after 3:30 p.m. and deputies tried to talk to him inside the residence, department spokeswoman Melissa Aquino said in a statement.

Several patrol deputies entered the home with the mother’s consent and established verbal contact with the man, sheriff’s Capt. Duncan Fraser told reporters at the scene.

“After several minutes of negotiation with him, which was unsuccessful, and because of some statements he was making they deployed less lethal tear gas,” Fraser said. “Unfortunately, the male returned fire, striking two deputies.”

The wounded deputies were then evacuated and sent to hospitals, he said.

One of the deputies was wounded in the forehead and the other, in the leg, according to Aquino. Both were expected to survive.

After shots were fired, the suspect stayed inside. Crisis negotiators and SWAT teams from around the county flocked to the scene, and for several hours, negotiators were in contact with the suspect, authorities said.

Around 1:30 a.m. today, robots were sent into the home to check on the suspect and about 10 minutes after that, SWAT officers entered and found the man dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Aquino said.

During the standoff, the Red Cross turned the Encinitas Community Center into a shelter for about 25 area-residents displaced by the police activity. Those residents were expected to be allowed back in their homes during the night, Aquino said.

The deputy who was shot in the forehead was treated and released from the hospital, according to Aquino. She said the other was admitted into Scripps La Jolla Hospital in stable condition. Their names were not immediately released.

ENCINITAS, Calif. – A SWAT standoff with a gunman who shot two sheriff’s deputies continued late Wednesday night, authorities said.

deputyLaw enforcement officers surrounded a house on the 700 block of Del Rio Avenue, near Leucadia Boulevard, shortly after 3:30 p.m. after two sheriff’s deputies were shot by a 22-year-old man, said San Diego Sheriff’s Captain Duncan Fraser of the Central Investigations Division.

Shots were fired at deputies searching for a man who had allegedly taken off in his mother’s car, Fraser said.

The mother of the suspect, who was reportedly angry about a recent restraining order she had filed against him, called the sheriff’s department about 1 p.m. and said her son had gone to her house and stolen her car, according to the captain.

The suspect returned to the home a short time later and went inside, Fraser said.

Several patrol deputies entered the home on the mother’s consent, found where the suspect was believed to have been hiding and established verbal contact, Fraser said.

“After several minutes of negotiation with him, which was unsuccessful, and because of some statements he was making they deployed less lethal tear gas,” Fraser said. “Unfortunately, the male returned fire, striking two deputies.”

The wounded deputies were evacuated and sent to hospitals. Members of the sheriff’s Special Enforcement Detail were the summoned to the area and had the home surrounded Wednesday night.

Crisis negotiators were in contact with the suspect, who was believed to be alone in the home, Fraser said. He urged the suspect to surrender peacefully and follow all instructions from the crisis negotiators.

“We need to resolve this peacefully, and soon,” Fraser said.

One injured deputy was initially taken to Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas with a leg wound, and later transferred to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla.

That deputy was in stable condition and was undergoing surgery, Fraser said.

The other deputy was hospitalized with a glancing head wound, treated and released, according to Fraser. Neither deputy’s name was released.

About nine homes south of Del Rio Avenue were evacuated as a precaution, sheriff’s officials said. Del Rio Avenue was closed west of Leucadia Boulevard and south of Saxony Road.

A sheriff’s helicopter flew overhead and its crew made announcements, authorities said. Carlsbad police personnel assisted with the SWAT call. Oceanside and Escondido police also assisted.

ENCINITAS, Calif. – The mother of a 22-year-old man who shot two deputies in Encinitas called authorities early Wednesday to come to their house after he had stolen her car, according to San Diego Sheriff’s Captain Duncan Fraser.

swatDeputies responded to a call around 1 p.m. of a woman saying her son, who had a restraining order against him, returned to her home on the 700 block of Del Rio Avenue, near Leucadia Boulevard, with her stolen vehicle.

Upon arriving to the house, deputies attempted to talk to her uncooperative son through a locked area of the home, Fraser said.  After throwing tear gas into the house, the suspect started shooting through the walls injuring two deputies, the captain added.

Members of the sheriff’s Special Enforcement Detail were summoned to the area and had the place surrounded late Wednesday afternoon.

One deputy was hospitalized with a glancing head wound and had been treated and released, Fraser said.

One deputy was initially taken to Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas with a leg wound, and was later transferred to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla where he underwent surgery, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore told reporters.

“Hopefully, they’ll both make full recoveries,” Gore said.   Both deputies’ family members were at the hospital. Neither deputy’s name was released.

Homes south of Del Rio Avenue were evacuated as a precaution, sheriff’s officials said. Del Rio Avenue was closed west of Leucadia and south of Saxony Road.

A sheriff’s helicopter flew overhead and its crew made announcements, authorities said. Carlsbad police personnel also assisted with the SWAT call.

The suspect was not in custody as off 7:30 p.m. and about nine homes were still evacuated as a precaution.

ENCINITAS, Calif. – A witness described the chaotic scene as a 22-year-old suspect began shooting and wounding two deputies in an Encinitas neighborhood Wednesday afternoon.

SWATSan Marcos resident Steve Schwier had been working on a plumbing project next door to the house on the 700 block of Del Rio Avenue where the suspected gunman was holed up Wednesday around 3 p.m.

“I see the deputies going into the house and I heard three shots – sounded like a 44 or bigger caliber gun,” said Schwier.  “The next thing I know, I see four [deputies] in a group and one of them has a rag on his head, he evidentally took a head shot.  Then I found out another one was wounded in the knee.”

“All hell broke loose,” he said.  “A deputy was running down the street with his gun drawn.  He screamed at his partner to ‘get the hell down here right now.’”

Authorities told him to leave the area as the gunman continued firing indiscriminately through the house, Schwier said.  SWAT officers used his white plumbing van that was parked on the street as protection, according to Schwier.

Meanwhile Josh Habarian headed towards the neighborhood where sheriff’s say the suspect had barricaded himself.  Habarian had received a call from his wife while he was at work, telling him she had heard gunshots on the next street over from their home.

Sheriff’s would not allow Habarian into the neighborhood, because a two block parimeter around the scene was blocked off.  But Habarian says his wife told him, by phone, that she and their three-month old were fine.

Schwier said the suspect  had been battling a drug addiction.  A neighbor told Schwier that the suspected gunman was a resident of the house and was thinking about going into a rehab facility weeks ago.

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