SAN DIEGO -- Police chased an armed robbery suspect from Riverside to San Diego late Wednesday, leading to a standoff outside Rady Children's Hospital that ended when the man shot himself.
Authorities confirmed the standoff, which forced parts of the hospital to shut down as a precaution, ended when the man died by suicide some time early Thursday morning. The medical center was deemed safe.
It all started shortly before 6 p.m. Wednesday, when Riverside police say a masked man robbed a Provident Bank at gunpoint and drove off. Officers began following the suspect, who led them southbound on a pursuit starting on Interstate 215, police said.
The driver made his way to San Diego and finally stopped in front of the pediatric hospital, refusing to surrender to officers. Around 11 p.m., the driver was still barricaded inside his SUV, surrounded by several police and SWAT vehicles.
Police instructed emergency room occupants who were not in a safe location to shelter in place. The public was asked to avoid the area. "People in need of medical services should go to an alternate location," San Diego police said in a tweet.
Some time after 2 a.m., officers say the man shot himself.
It took police a while to officially confirm the man was dead, and investigators and crime tape could still be seen outside the hospital around 7 a.m., but officials assured patients that the medical center was returning to normal operations.
“Rady Children’s would like to reassure families that the hospital is safe, secure and open for business," the medical center said in a statement. "Access has been restored to the main campus, including the emergency department. Scheduled surgeries and clinics will continue and parents should keep their appointments.”
Important note: If you or a loved one is feeling distressed, please remember help is available through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. It provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also call a loved one, member of the clergy or 911.