Police shoot, kill CA hostage taker

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December 24, 2008, 10:49 am
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(NECN/KABC) - It was not how El Monte police wanted it to end. What was a hostage situation inside a Chinese restaurant turned into a deadly shootout, and now investigators said the gunman was wanted murder suspect. At first, onlookers heard two gunshots, followed by several more. Police scrambled for cover, then SWAT teams set off a flash bang grenade -- clear signs that negotiations with a heavily armed gunman inside that restaurant had broken down. Seconds later, the young hostage -- a 6-year-old boy -- was carried out of the restaurant by SWAT officers. The boy had been shot in the leg, and he was treated on the sidewalk, then whisked away on a stretcher. Inside, the man that held him hostage inside a bathroom died. Lt. Liam Gallagher with the LA County Sheriff's Department said the suspect had refused to release the boy, or come out peacefully. That was when shots were fired, although it was still not clear who fired first. The ordeal started in the afternoon, when El Monte police got reports regarding a transient walking with a young boy. When they tried to question the man, the standoff was set into motion. KABC's Robert Holguin reports from California.

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