Photos by Stephanie Rivera.
UPDATE | Long Beach police have arrested a suspect threatening to blow up a vacant garage he barricaded himself in for multiple hours on Thursday in the city’s Los Cerritos neighborhood, authorities said.
Once SWAT officers obtained a search warrant, they searched the vacant residence on the 3900 block of Country Club Drive and made contact with the suspect in the garage, Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) spokesman Sgt. Brad Johnson. The suspect surrendered to officers and was taken into custody without incident.
Police received a 9-1-1 call at 8:35AM regarding a person screaming inside the garage of that vacant residence, according to Johnson.
“We received additional information that the suspect was threatening to blow the garage up and there was a smell of gasoline,” Johnson said. “As a result of this threat, the natural gas supply to the residence has been shut off.”
“Los Cerritos Elementary School was put on lockdown and students and staff were then evacuated, as well as residents in close proximity to the residence,” Johnson said.
Students were eventually bussed to Charles Evans Hughes Middle School about a mile away, according to Irving Ortiz, whose son is a second grader at the elementary school.
Ortiz said he was dropping off his son at school when he noticed that children were not at the school playground and then a school official went over and told him of the incident and subsequent lockdown. The students were eventually transported to the middle school where parents were able to pick them up, he said.
Johnson said authorities are investigating the incident as possibly related to an earlier carjacking and subsequent crash that happened nearby.
In that incident, a minivan crashed into the garage of a house on the 400 block of San Antonio Drive at about 7:25AM. The driver then fled on foot. During that same time frame a report of a carjacking near 46th Street and Atlantic Avenue was also reported.
“Upon arrival, we found out that those two incidents were related and the minivan taken in the carjacking was the same minivan that crashed into the garage,” Johnson said.
No other information is available at this time.
PREVIOUSLY: Screaming Man Inside Garage of Vacant Home Leads to School Lockdown, SWAT Investigation
Google Maps screenshot.
11/10/16 at 11:32AM | Authorities locked down an elementary school in Bixby Knolls Thursday morning and called in SWAT personnel after reports of a screaming person in the garage of a vacant home, according to the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD).
Police were called at 8:31AM to the 3900 block of Country Club Drive regarding a “person heard screaming in the garage of a vacant residence,” according to LBPD spokeswoman Marlene Arrona.
Arriving officers set up a containment area and called SWAT personnel to assist “with the garage where [police] believe a male is contained,” she said.
Los Cerritos Elementary School has been locked down as a precautionary measure while authorities continue to investigate the incident.
Arrona said police have yet to determine if the incident is related to an earlier crash nearby involving a stolen vehicle.
In that incident, police were dispatched to the 400 block of West San Antonio Drive at 7:25AM regarding a crash during which a vehicle struck an attached garage and the driver fled on foot, Arrona said.
During that same time frame, officers were also called to a possible carjacking near 46th Street and Atlantic Avenue. Further investigation determined the same vehicle was involved in both incidents, she said.
The investigation remains ongoing.