A suicidal man armed with a gun holed up in his home near Sycuan Casino with his children Wednesday, prompting a nearly nine-hour law enforcement standoff that ended when he finally surrendered.
The events that led to the armed impasse began shortly after 1:30 a.m. when a woman made a 911 call to report that her husband was wielding a firearm and threatening to shoot himself in front of their children at their house on Willson Road in the Dehesa area, east of El Cajon, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.
Deputies went to the residence, made contact with the man, and urged him to send out the juveniles for their safety while crisis negotiators tried to “address any needs he may have (had),” Lt. Anthony O’Boyle said.
The distraught father, an active-duty serviceman whose name and military assignment was not released, refused to release the children, prompting officials to dispatch a SWAT team to prepare to forcibly enter the home, if necessary.
Counselors and a military chaplain worked through the morning to de-escalate the situation. Finally, just before 11 a.m., the man sent out the children and then gave himself up. He was taken into custody for a mental health evaluation and was expected to face charges of child endangerment.
Deputies seized about 50 firearms from the home.
“We are committed to bringing such calls to a peaceful conclusion and providing assistance to those in crisis,” O’Boyle said.
The lieutenant noted that anyone experiencing an emotional or mental-health emergency can get confidential counseling and other support services by calling the San Diego County Crisis Hotline at 888-724-7240.
City News Service contributed to this article.