Standoff after chase blocks freeways for hours in North County

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Latest story: Police identify driver arrested in chase, hours-long standoff in North County

SAN DIEGO — Authorities shut down Interstate 15 and state Route 76 in rural North County Thursday evening after a chase ended in an hours-long standoff on the freeway.

North and southbound lanes of I-15 were closed in the Pala Mesa area near Fallbrook, while both east and westbound lanes of SR-76 were also closed over I-15 just after 7:30 p.m.

The closures remained in place until after 10:30 p.m. Thursday, snarling traffic. Lanes reopened when the suspect was finally taken into custody, but further details on the arrest were not immediately released.

The chase started in the Barstow area of San Bernardino County about 4:30 p.m., when deputies responded to reports of a suspicious person in a vehicle outside a home, FOX 5 sister station KTLA reports. When deputies tried to contact the driver, they took off.

California Highway Patrol officers eventually took over the chase as it continued south on Interstate 15, ultimately reaching northern San Diego County.

The driver finally came to a stop on the side of the freeway, prompting authorities to shut down the lanes and line up along the road with their doors open, some officers holding the vehicle at gunpoint and shouting instructions to the driver, freelance photographer video from the scene showed.

Long lines of drivers could be seen waiting to get through the area as CHP tried to divert traffic off the freeway.

The person involved in the pursuit and standoff was possibly armed with a firearm and reportedly suicidal, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

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