CHULA VISTA, Calif. — A 42-year-old man who killed himself at a Chula Vista apartment complex was publicly identified Friday, along with the neighbor he allegedly shot to death prior to holding officers at bay for around 10 hours.
The body of Michael Majerus was found inside an apartment at 160 E St. around 5:15 p.m. Thursday.
Majerus shot and killed Nicholas Reynolds, 43, over some type of dispute over neighborhood issues around 7:40 a.m. Thursday, and locked himself inside his apartment with his 31-year-old wife and two children, according to Chula Vista police.
Majerus may have been reacting to bullying he and his family suffered for being little people, neighbors told FOX 5.
He was armed with an AR-15 assault rifle and fired 19 shots at the victim, police said.
About 3:30 p.m., the suspect allowed police to remove his spouse and children from the apartment.
Crisis counselors made contact with Majerus, who made comments about being suicidal, and tried to persuade him to surrender peaceably. Officers diverted traffic in the area and urged the public to stay clear of the neighborhood during the standoff.
Less than an hour after his family left the apartment, a gunshot sounded from inside the unit. SWAT officers then sent in a camera-equipped robot to check on the suspect, finding him dead from a self-inflicted bullet wound to the head.
The standoff prompted authorities to evacuate the 39-unit complex one building at a time. The 41 adults and 15 children who were cleared out of the apartments were allowed to return home around 9:30 p.m.
Neighbors told FOX 5 Mike’s daughter was often the victim of bullying because she, Mike and Laura were little people. Neighbors said they believe Mike was defending his daughter.
Neighbor Oskar Vargas said Mike and the deceased neighbor had a history of animosity. Vargas said a girl who lived with the victim bullied Mike’s daughter for being a little person, which created bad blood between the neighbors.