Non-lethal chemical used in Mount Helix standoff

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LA MESA, Calif. — A day-long SWAT standoff that began as a domestic violence call continued through Monday night as police used non-lethal chemical to fill a Mount Helix house where an armed man was holed up inside in hopes to get him to surrender.

A 47-year-old man barricaded himself inside a ranch-style home in the 9900 block of Grandview Drive in unincorporated La Mesa.

Mount Helix StandoffThe suspect, armed with at least one rifle, shotgun and two handguns, randomly fired shots throughout the day. A few of those shots were directed at SWAT’s armored truck/bearcat, San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said.

A non-lethal chemical was used to fill the house with smoke causing the suspect’s eyes to water, throat and nose to burn.  The intensions were to convince the suspect to surrender.

Sheriff’s officials said a fiancee of the man holed up inside the house called deputies around 10 a.m. and told them they had an argument and the man threatened to hurt her and himself.

Three other people, possibly teenagers, inside the house got out safely, they said.

Helicopter video showed more than a dozen police cars and at least one armored police vehicle deployed around the home.

Homes immediately surrounding the suspect’s house have been evacuated, and inhabitants of homes within a one-mile radius were warned by the Sheriff’s Communication Center to remain indoors and close their windows, curtains and blinds.

Grandview Drive was closed in both directions.

Authorities set up four checkpoints along Grandview for evacuated residents to seek shelter.


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