Suicidal veteran, Los Banos police in two-hour standoff

cpride@losbanosenterprise.comJuly 28, 2013 

— A suicidal man with a gun had a more than two-hour standoff with police Thursday afternoon.

The man, whose age is unknown and identity is being withheld, surrendered to police and was taken to a Veterans Administration hospital for treatment.

Cmdr. Ray Reyna Jr. said that at 2:37 p.m. his department received a call from a crisis hot line reporting a suicidal veteran with a gun in a residence on the 2000 block of Lombardy Court.

Police responded to the residence and called the man, who was alone in the home.

"We made contact with him and he informed us that if we got close to the residence he was going to shoot us," Reyna said. "He said he could see us and he was loading the rifle."

Police called for backup and moved away from the home to the Ancona Street intersection. They left their vehicles near the man's residence for fear that moving them would cause him to start shooting, Reyna said.

The Los Banos Fire Department helped police block off several streets, and the California Highway Patrol and the Merced County Sheriff's Department's SWAT team were called in to assist.

Reyna said police contacted the man several times during the standoff.

"Our plan simply was to call him and get him out of the residence. Our plan was to also keep moving back; we did not want to aggravate him," Reyna said. "Time is always on our side in these cases."

The man surrendered to police at about 4:45 p.m.

"We were able to reassure him we were not here to harm him. We only wanted him to come out," Reyna said. "This is the way we like these to end, peacefully, nobody gets hurt."

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