IRVINE, CA – A domestic violence dispute spiraled out of control late Tuesday night, leading police into a gun battle with a man who was ultimately left in critical condition after receiving a gunshot wound to the head.
According to police, they responded at 9:50 p.m. to a call from a female who reported that she had been battered by her husband.
Upon their arrival at 58 Topeka in Irvine, police were met at the apartment door by the woman who invited them inside. The woman reportedly went on to tell police that her husband had locked himself in the bedroom after striking her, and that he was armed.
Police quickly evacuated the woman and her three children, ages 12, 15 and 16, from the apartment.
Officers were then able to make contact with the husband through the locked bedroom door and attempted to verbally resolve the situation. However, after hearing what sounded like a firearm being locked and loaded behind the door in the bedroom, officers retreated and called for additional assistance.
Police say a gunshot from the bedroom followed and was fired in their direction.
An immediate evacuation of surrounding apartments was initiated as other law enforcement agencies arrived to assist, including Irvine SWAT and the Tustin and Newport Beach Police Departments.
While SWAT members took up positions and surrounded the area, crisis negotiators were able to make contact with the suspect via phone. According to police the suspect’s demeanor was “agitated and angry”.
Efforts encouraging the man to surrender continued until approximately 11:41 pm when he emerged through the front door carrying what police say appeared to be a military assault rifle.
Assuming a crouched position, the suspect appeared to aim the rifle at SWAT officers at which point he was shot, sustaining the wound to the head. He was transported to a local hospital reportedly in critical condition.
One neighbor described the suspect as a middle-aged man that seemed standoffish with neighbors while the neighborhood was described as being normally quiet and host to a tight knit community.
Several bullet holes riddled the front door of the apartment but police did not give an estimate for how many shots were fired.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office will be conducting an independent investigation into the shooting as is standard practice for officer related shootings.