SWAT officers search apartment complex after assault call but find no suspect

After hours of waiting and calling out an assault suspect believed to be inside an apartment in Bixby Knolls, a SWAT team found no one inside, officials said.

Long Beach police were searching for the suspect inside of an apartment complex Tuesday after shutting down southbound San Antonio Drive and Orange Avenue to look for him.

Officers this morning initially responded to an “unknown trouble” call at about 10:30 a.m., which turned out to be a report of an assault, LBPD spokesman Brandon Fahey said. When they arrived, they found two men who said they were performing contracted work for the suspect at an apartment complex when they got into a dispute that escalated into a physical assault. One of the victims had non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to a local hospital in stable condition. The other man was not injured.

Police at the scene focused on a residential complex at Orange Avenue and San Antonio Drive called Bixby Knolls Luxury Apartments, where an officer said they believe the suspect was. It was not confirmed if he was armed.

“Through their investigation, officers discovered evidence indicating the suspect may have been inside a unit inside the apartment building,” Fahey said. Officers tried calling out the suspect but weren’t successful.

Until about 5 p.m., officers were still trying to determine if the suspect was barricaded in the apartment complex, checking the large facility and ensuring its residents were safe.

Police called in SWAT and entered the apartment but could not find the suspect inside. Police did not immediately know if the apartment was his, a spokeswoman said.

“Out of caution, vehicle traffic was shut down for a few hours, and officers evacuated nearby residents to ensure their safety,” Fahey said.

As of 6 p.m., officers were reopening the streets and breaking down the perimeter.

Police ask that anyone with information regarding the incident to contact investigators at 562-570-7370.

Editor’s note: This was a developing story and has been updated throughout the day with additional information from police. 

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Valerie Osier is a breaking news and crime reporter for the Long Beach Post. She’s a Riverside native who found her love for journalism while at community college. She graduated from the Cal State Long Beach journalism program in 2017 and covered the Palos Verdes Peninsula for the Daily Breeze prior to coming to the Post. She lives in Long Beach with her husband and two cats.