La Mesa motel standoff: Parolee found dead

US Marshals were serving warrant

LA MESA, Calif. - Gunfire erupted Monday at a motel near the intersection of state Routes 94 and 125 while agents with the U.S. Marshals Service were trying to arrest a probation violator, prompting a nearly six-hour standoff that ended when the man was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted bullet wound.

The standoff began at about 10 a.m. when agents with the San Diego Fugitive Task Force served an arrest warrant for 40-year-old Robert DeLeon at the Rodeway Inn in the 4200 block of Spring Street.

However, when agents tried to make contact with the parolee and asked him to come out of a room, at least one gunshot was fired inside the room. An adult female was also inside the room, and authorities did not believe she was being held against her will.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Steve Jurman told news crews DeLeon was a documented gang member on probation in a federal methamphetamine-trafficking case.

Officers evacuated the building, blocked off surrounding traffic lanes and called in a sheriff's SWAT team to try to capture the suspect, whose identity was not immediately available.

The SWAT team fired tear gas into the room about 2:30 p.m. and the woman exited moments later. Officers handcuffed her and escorted her away.

Roughly a half-hour later, officers entered the room and found DeLeon dead. He appeared to have shot himself in the head, Nicholass said.

No other injuries were reported during the standoff.

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