Deputies Fatally Shoot Man, Rescue 1-Year Old After Standoff in Lancaster

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LANCASTER (CNS) - An armed man who barricaded himself in his Lancaster mobile home with a year-old infant following a high-speed pursuit was fatally shot by sheriff's deputies when he allegedly pointed a gun at the child's head, authorities said Thursday.

The fatal shooting occurred about 9 p.m. Wednesday, and the man was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The man's name was withheld, pending notification of his relatives.

No deputies were injured "and the infant was recovered fine and uninjured," sheriff's public information officer M. McClendon told City News Service.

California Highway Patrol officers began chasing the man in a white Kia SUV around 11:45 p.m. Tuesday as he drove at speeds topping 130 mph, according to the CHP.

CHP Sgt. Alejandro Rubio told reporters that during the chase, which occurred on multiple freeways and surface streets in Palmdale and Lancaster, the suspect called the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and said he had a gun and a child in the vehicle, and threatened to shoot at pursuing officers if they didn't break away from the pursuit.

At about 1 a.m. Wednesday, the suspect fired shots at officers near 17th Avenue East and Avenue Q, Rubio said, but no officers or vehicles were struck by the gunfire.

The suspect eventually came to a stop outside the Lido Estates mobile home park in the 2500 block of East Avenue I and exited the SUV while holding a gun to the infant's head, Rubio said. The suspect then backed slowly into a mobile home, beginning the standoff.

The CHP contacted the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which dispatched SWAT team to the scene.

The standoff continued throughout the day on Wednesday and into the evening hours, and negotiators worked to take the man into custody and rescue the child.

"The suspect placed a gun to the child's head while deputy personnel attempted to communicate with him, at which time a deputy involved shooting occurred," the sheriff's department said in a statement released on Thursday morning.

"The shooting occurred at approximately 9:05 p.m.," the sheriff's department said. "The suspect was treated by medical personnel on scene and pronounced deceased. A firearm was recovered at the scene. The child was not injured during the incident."

During the standoff, Elijandra Rosas, who identified herself as the suspect's aunt, told reporters at the scene the suspect was named Fernando, and that he had his year-old son with him inside the mobile home. She issued a plea for him to surrender.

"Fernando, please get out of the house, please. I want to see you. I want to see the baby. ... Please, think of your mom and your dad and your sister and your brother, Fernando, please," she said.

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