Deputies take cover
Deputies take cover behind a sheriff’s cruiser outside the home in Lemon Grove. Courtesy OnScene.TV

A man in Lemon Grove opened fire with an assault rifle out a bedroom window in his home Thursday, wounding a neighbor and prompting an hours-long SWAT standoff.

The standoff concluded at about 2:45 p.m. when the suspect exited the residence and surrendered, according to sheriff’s officials, after deputies fired tear-gas projectiles into
his home.

Mental health clinicians will evaluate suspect Brandon Andrade, 28, before he is booked into county jail on suspicion of three counts of attempted murder, sheriff’s officials said.

The standoff began after several people made 911 calls shortly before 8 a.m. They reported that a resident suffering a mental health crisis and was firing an AR-15 in the direction of other people’s houses in the 8100 block of Longdale Drive, near Skyline Drive and Palm Street, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

“Neighbors said that he was shooting his firearm at neighbors in (a) surrounding area outside of his home,” sheriff’s Capt. Amber Baggs told reporters.

Deputies arrived to find a woman who had been struck by bullet fragments while seated inside her parked car with her child.

“We haven’t confirmed … if (the shooter) was directly trying to strike someone or (if) he was just firing rounds randomly,” the captain told news crews.

Paramedics took the victim to a hospital for treatment of non-life- threatening injuries.

The suspect’s mother, who lives with him, was able to get out of their home safely, officials reported.

When deputies arrived, the suspect — a military veteran in his late 20s — refused to exit his home and surrender, prompting authorities to call in special weapons and tactics personnel, along with crisis negotiators and the sheriff’s Psychiatric Emergency Response Team.

During the ensuing stalemate, deputies were in contact with the suspect, who was alone in the house — possibly, according to family members, with access to more than one gun, Baggs said.

Sheriff’s personnel closed traffic lanes and cleared people out of eight surrounding homes as a precaution. Administrators of nearby Lemon Grove Early Childhood Education Center responded to the emergency by putting the facility on lockdown.

Neighborhood resident Manuel Cabrera described hearing four gunshots just after parking his truck upon getting home from work.

Cabrera told reporters he thought for a moment that the reports were a backfiring car engine, but realized what they actually were when he saw what appeared to be bullet holes in the victim’s windshield.

The witness described seeing the injured woman — who moments before had gotten into her Ford Mustang along with her son — jump out of the car and fall to the ground before running into her home along with the boy.

At that point, Cabrera said, the shooter opened fire on a truck traveling down the street.

“Then I smelled the gunpowder coming out,” Cabrera said.

Authorities urged those who lived near the scene of the shooting but had not been evacuated to remain indoors until the situation was resolved.

“We don’t want anyone to get hurt,” Baggs said. “We want to offer help for this man as well as take him into custody for any crimes that may have been committed.”

The standoff was ongoing in the mid-afternoon.

Updated at 3:15 p.m., 3:45 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Thursday, May 25, 2023