Stand-Off Ends In Suicide

August 22, 2008 12:35:49 AM PDT
Fresno police say a Sacramento murder suspect killed himself, ending a crime spree and stand-off that began early Friday morning. Investigators say Ma Phompong killed a woman in Sacramento Wednesday night and severely injured her husband in a home invasion robbery then drove to Fresno in a stolen vehicle. Fresno police were able to locate the vehicle in a Central Fresno neighborhood, where a standoff began. It unfolded in front of stunned neighbors, "I heard flash bangs, and the cops on the bullhorn," said Rudy Tellez.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Another nearby resident, Genaro Madriz said he first thought he was looking at some kind of traffic stop. "When they closed the streets, that's when it hit me, something serious is going on," said Madriz.

Fresno police said Phompong was inside the apartment of relatives, who cooperated with police. But no verbal contact with the suspect was ever made. "There was never communication that occurred between our crisis negotiators or the suspect inside the residence," said Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer.

In the hours that followed, police used flash bang grenades, tear gas, and a robot, which eventually found the suspect. "The robot was able to make its way to a bedroom area, to open the door and was able to see what appeared to be feet of a suspect that was lying on the ground," said Dyer.

SWAT members then entered the apartment and found the suspect with a self inflicted gunshot wound. His injuries and the large amount of tear gas in the home made it difficult for officers to positively identify the body as Phompongs, and hours after the stand-off, investigators still wore protective gear to go back inside. The ending wasn't exactly what police hoped for, but it was still considered a success because no one else was injured. "We utilized a great deal of time, a great deal of patience, a great deal of tear gas? Although we would have to taken the suspect in custody alive, he made the decision to take his own life," said Dyer.

Police say Phompong was always considered armed and dangerous because he had been convicted of an earlier home invasion that ended with a victims' death and he had stolen firearms in Wednesday night's robbery. They say one of those rifles stolen Wednesday was found near his body.

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