SWAT team members fired two different kinds of tear gas into a Monrovia house Wednesday before an armed felon finally surrendered to police, ending a as negotiators tried to convince the man to give up.
"Once they introduced the gas into the house, he came out and we got him in custody," Chief Jim Hunt said early Wednesday morning. "Once you get tear gassed it pretty much incapacitates you for anything but trying to get out of there."
Police got a call from a friend of the man at about 3 p.m. Tuesday warning that the man was suicidal, Hunt said.
"We got a call from a friend who said he was despondent and thought he was going to take his life," Hunt said.
The suspect was identified as 35-year-old David Hipkins of Monrovia, Sgt Michael Head said. He was booked on charges of possession of a firearm by a felon.
Police tried to communicate with Hipkins outside his home in the 800 block of W. Duarte Road for hours, eventually resorting to the use of tear gas to get the man out. The first round of gas didn't work, but he walked out peacefully following a second round of stronger gas, Hunt said.
Police also fired several flash-bang grenades in an attempt to get Hipkins' attention and repeatedly tried to communicate via loudspeaker from an armored vehicle.
An apartment building across the street from the house was evacuated and the Red Cross was on scene to aid those displaced.
Police would not identify the man early Wednesday because he had not been booked. He is expected to be booked on weapons charges because, as a felon, he is not allowed to possess a gun, Hunt said.
The Foothill Special Enforcement Team set up a command center at a nearby school where police operations were directed as the incident unfolded. Police units from Glendora, Irwindale, La Verne and Baldwin Park assisted.