Man surrenders after lengthy LA standoff

Incident began as pursuit

LOS ANGELES - A man wanted for allegedly making criminal threats led police on a chase Monday from El Sereno to North Hollywood, where he holed up inside a home with an assault rifle, prompting an hours-long standoff that ended when officers fired tear gas into the house.

The suspect, identified only as a 40-year-old man, was spotted around 10:15 a.m. in the 4900 block of Axtell Street in the El Sereno area, police said. Los Angeles police Cmdr. Andrew Smith said the man was suspected of making criminal threats at the same location a couple days ago, and a warrant had been issued for his arrest.

The suspect, however, fled from officers, driving along various surface streets near downtown Los Angeles, then onto the Hollywood (101), Pasadena (110), Golden State (5) and Hollywood (170) freeways.

At some points during the pursuit, the suspect pointed a rifle out of the car window, but it was unclear if he actually fired any shots.

About 11:30 a.m., the suspect came to a stop on a North Hollywood surface street and -- armed with a rifle -- got out of the car and ran into a neighborhood in the 11500 block of Hartsook Street. At one point, he climbed onto a rooftop and appeared to rest before climbing down, eventually making his way inside a home.

Police set up a blocks-wide perimeter around the home, evacuating neighbors and forcing lockdowns at several area schools. Colfax Charter Elementary School, North Hollywood High School, Lankershim Elementary School and Reed Middle School were among the schools placed on lockdown, according to the Los Angeles Unified School District. The schools were generally out of session for the summer, meaning only faculty and staff were on the campuses, although some students were believed to be in summer programs at Colfax.

Students at Oakwood School, a private school that was in session Monday, were locked down for a time, but around 2 p.m., they were escorted by authorities to a nearby park to be picked up by their parents.

Around 3 p.m., police fired tear gas canisters into the where the suspect was holed up. After a few minutes, the man came out -- unarmed -- and dropped face-down on the ground. SWAT officers moved in and took him into custody.

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