By Mary O’KEEFE
UPDATE: 10:00 p.m.
A stand-off between law enforcement and a suspect barricaded in the Verizon store on Foothill Boulevard ended at about 9:45 this evening when it was discovered that the suspect had apparently committed suicide.
When law enforcement used a camera to look through the windows of the Verizon store they saw the suspect was not moving. They entered the store and discovered he had ended his life by his own hand, according to Sgt. Burton Brink of the CV Sheriff’s Station.
He was pronounced dead at the scene. The area is still cordoned off and the investigation is ongoing. Information on the suspect’s identify is not being released at this time.
UPDATE: 9:35 p.m.
Negotiations with Robbery Suspect Continue
Negotiators are still talking with a robbery suspect holed up in a Verizon store in the 2600 block of Foothill Boulevard. The suspect barricaded himself in the store after allegedly robbing the nearby Rite Aid of medication.
According to scanner chatter, the suspect appears to be willing to come out, but then continues to smoke cigarettes.
UPDATE 7:40 p.m.
Sgt. Burton Brink with the CV Sheriff’s Station reports that an L.A. County Sheriff’s crisis negotiator is on scene and is dealing with the suspect inside the Verizon store. The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Dept. Special Enforcement Detail – SED – (similar to SWAT) is also on scene but has not been deployed.
Brink said that at around 4 p.m. today, the sheriff’s station received a call that a man with a gun entered the Verizon store in the 2600 block of Foothill Boulevard in the Ralph’s Marketplace complex and ordered everyone out. He then barricaded himself inside. When sheriffs arrived, they discovered that that an armed robbery had occurred moments before at the nearby Rite Aid. It was that suspect who ran into Verizon. The suspect is described as a white male, about 30 years old, 5′ 10″.
All the businesses in the Marketplace have been evacuated. Brink confirmed that the suspect did steal medication and that the sheriff’s station is on heightened alert.
“We have no idea why he ran into the Verizon,” Brink said adding that the situation could go on for a long time.
UPDATE 5:38 p.m.
Local resident Susan Eatherton, who was in lock down in the Rite Aid, contacted CV Weekly and said she saw a employee “running quickly” toward the rear of the store. Eatherton returned to the pharmacy area where she saw the clerk visibly upset.
“The girl in the pharmacy was really shaken,” Eatherton said.
Eatherton asked a person standing nearby what was happening and was told that a man had come into the pharmacy area and had apparently been hiding. He then came up to the pharmacist, showed her a gun and said to give him “pills.” He apparently did get the pills and then ran out of the store and into the nearby Verizon store.
The Rite Aid customers were then directed by the manager to go to the back of the store. She said that the manager had been “very nice” and gave them water and kept everyone calm during the lock down.
Law enforcement then came into Rite Aid and directed everyone to quickly leave the store.
Helicopters are currently circling the Ralphs Marketplace in the 2600 block of Foothill Boulevard in response to a possible robbery in one of the marketplace stores.
Residents are advised to stay inside and lock their doors until the incident is resolved.
Those planning on traveling Foothill Boulevard are advised to take another route.
Witnesses report that the Ralphs Marketplace stores are in lock down.
CV Weekly will continue to monitor this story.