NORTH HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA) — A tactical team was called to a tense police standoff at a North Hollywood motel Friday, and after hours of negotiation, police took the suspect into custody.
SWAT officers surrounded the Pepper Tree motel on the 5900 block of Lankershim Boulevard, trapping cars that were in the vicinity for hours.
The standoff began at about 3:40 p.m. when officers with the Los Angeles Police Dept. were conducting a parole compliance check at the motel, which police said is known for temporarily lodging parolees not in compliance.
When officers looked at the check-in log, they recognized the name Lawrence Gray, a parolee with an outstanding warrant for grand theft auto and narcotics possession. He reportedly slammed the door on police and refused to come out, saying he was going to kill himself.
Eventually, police made a hole in the motel room door with a battering ram. Gray reportedly stuck his head out of the hole, and, again, threatened to kill himself. Police witnessed something in his hand, which they believed to be a gun.
“He’s already stated he’s a danger to himself, although he has a violent criminal history,” said LAPD Det. Meghan Aguilar. “Based on all those factors, this isn’t a situation where we’re just going to walk away. We believe he’s unsafe, not just for himself but for the public.”
Based on Gray’s criminal history, which includes weapons violations, SWAT was called to the scene. Flash bangs were heard detonating around 10 p.m. Police did not believe any other people were inside the motel.
They also reportedly used a gas canisters, a taser and 40 mm rubber bullets, beanbags and a K-9 to apprehend Gray. He injured the dog with a knife, police said.
Crisis negotiators were also called to the scene.
The nearby In-N-Out was closed due to the standoff.