Crime & Justice

Man fatally shoots mother, then turns gun on himself after fire at Gardena home, police say

Just before 5 a.m., Los Angeles firefighters called for help after shots were fired at a residence where they were responding to a blaze.
Just before 5 a.m., Los Angeles firefighters called for help after shots were fired at a residence where they were responding to a blaze.
Courtesy NBC Los Angeles

A man fatally shot his mother at the scene of a house fire early Tuesday morning, sending firefighters scrambling for cover behind their fire trucks, before holing himself up for two hours inside the burned home south of downtown Los Angeles, authorities said.

About 4:30 a.m., Los Angeles city firefighters responded to a blaze at a Gardena-area home in the 15000 block of South Orchard Avenue.

They quickly extinguished the fire, but about 15 minutes later, gunshots rang out, according to LAFD Capt. Erik Scott.

"Our firefighters actually had to shield themselves behind their own apparatus," he said.

Firefighters called for help from the Los Angeles Police department, and when officers arrived, they found a woman the front yard of the home, according to LAPD Sgt. Frank Preciado. The woman had been shot and was rescued from the scene, but died from her wounds, Preciado said.

LAPD tweet

The suspect, who police believe is the victim's son, retreated back into the home, the sergeant said. Police and sheriff's deputies set up a perimeter and evacuated nearby homes during the standoff, which lasted about two hours.

The 25-year-old man, whose name wasn't immediately released, surrendered to police about 7 a.m.

The suspect appeared to have a self-inflicted gunshot wound when he was taken into custody and was brought to a hospital in critical condition, he said, adding that "no shots were fired by LAPD at the suspect or towards the residence."

Four adults and a child were displaced by the blaze, and the American Red Cross was sent to assist them, according to fire officials.

"No shots were fired by LAPD at the suspect or towards the residence," he said, adding the suspect was transported to a hospital in critical condition.

Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies also responded to the "active shooter" scene to assist LAPD officers.

LASD tweet