SANTA BARBARA — A two-hour standoff between an armed man in a suicidal state of mind and Santa Barbara’s SWAT team ended quietly Friday night with an assist from the depressed individual’s friend.
Lt. Doug Kresky of the Santa Barbara Police Department reported the successful conclusion of the standoff patrol after both the armed man and his friend exited a residence on the city’s west side with arms raised and were taken into custody shortly before 11 p.m.
Responding to reports of gunshots coming from an apartment residence on the west side of the city at 9 p.m., officers approached an open window and observed an armed man seated and a second man standing before him.
The responding officers immediately evacuated the apartment’s nearby neighbors, closed several area thoroughfares and set up a tactical command post.
An hour later, SWAT officers deployed with guns drawn and approached the apartment with the shooter inside. By then, tactical units were stationed along a tight perimeter surrounding the apartment, where they remained for more than 90 minutes, weapons at the ready.
SWAT officers began entering what appeared to be a side door into the residence, which may have been a separate apartment, at 10:23 p.m.
Meanwhile, on the south side of Valerio Street, just across the street from the apartment, officers were stationed behind a parked SUV, standing on chairs with rifles aimed at the front door.
At 10:55 p.m., with several SWAT team members huddled behind police cars and kneeling behind a short retaining wall along a sidewalk, two men exited the residence, hands raised. The first man walked directly toward the officers, reporting that the second man was his friend and had been in a suicidal frame of mind when his 9-mm handgun had been fired into the During the approach of the first man, the second man appeared in the doorway with a sniper’s red laser dot on his abdomen. He was immediately apprehended and arrested on firearms violations.
Lt. Kresky confirmed the suicidal mindset of the arrestee, suggesting that suspect’s friend did a laudable job of talking the man down from the lethal alternative to surrender.