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Dispatchers praised after rampage suspect gives up


By MATT HAMILTON
Associated Press

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -- Two 911 operators were praised Monday for bringing a peaceful end to an armed standoff that began after three people were shot to death and two others wounded in a neighborhood in California.

During a 20-minute phone call, Pasadena emergency services operator Diane Marin persuaded the caller to surrender, as another operator relayed information to officers who surrounded the house where he was holed up, authorities said.

Marin told a news conference that the man called Saturday and said, "'I killed someone.'"

Police say John Izeal Smith, 44, is suspected of killing 90-year-old Luis Fernando Aguiar inside a Pasadena house and Maria Teresa Aguiar, 59, outside the dwelling.

Neighbor Jose Hernandez Iribe, 31, was fatally shot when he ran toward Aguiar as she lay wounded outside, police said.

Two other people were grazed by bullets and shrapnel and treated for minor injuries, police said.

Smith also opened fire at officers and fired a total of 40 bullets before going back inside the house and calling 911, police said.

Marin, who said she had fielded emergency calls from neighbors reporting gunfire in the area, said the caller was evasive but eager to talk about himself.

In a recording of the final moments of the conversation. Marin is heard assuring the man, "They don't want anyone else to get hurt. They don't want you to get hurt also."

"I'm coming out," the caller says.

After the roughly 90-minute standoff, police took Smith into custody without firing a shot. No officers were injured.

Police: 911 Dispatcher Convinced Gunman to Surrender

It's unclear what motivated the shootings, but Pasadena Police Chief Phillip L. Sanchez said the two "themes" emerging in the investigation involve a possible landlord-tenant dispute and a possible long-term relationship between Smith and those living inside the home.

Smith legally purchased the two assault rifles and one semi-automatic pistol that were recovered from the scene, police said.

Smith was being held without bail in a Los Angeles jail and is scheduled for a court appearance Tuesday. It could not be immediately determined if he has a lawyer. Police said they initially erred in reporting Smith's age as 35.

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TripleXKimberly July 14 2014 at 8:46 PM

Excellant Training for these Dispatchers is the reason that noone else was injured. They did everything right in this very tragic situation. My heart goes out to the family and friends of the deceased and may they also RIP.

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kwikrdrvr July 14 2014 at 9:18 PM

He killed three people and injured more. He shouldn't gotten out alive. Yes, I have no sympathy for murderers. Capital punishment is justified in cases like this.

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jloschh July 14 2014 at 9:20 PM

he shot up a bunch of people and you took him alive. what should have happened; you thought he had a weapon and you fired in defense about thirty times. a parade will be held in your honor.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
jewel July 14 2014 at 9:31 PM

and here i go agin--- give em a rope-a hot seat--cut off there heads-- give em some gas--- shoot em.do one of em they ask for it--let er fly.

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1 reply
absinthe2016 jewel July 15 2014 at 10:09 AM

That's called "American Terrorism" that you all are gunning for...yes pun intended. An eye for an eye isn't the answer! (I'm not excusing this or condoning it by any means.....However....doesn't it get annoying to hear about these vicious circles that seem to keep replaying throughout history!?) I think we should thank our lucky stars that it wasn't worse than it was - pray for the lives that we're lost and be inspired by the quick cool headed-ness of these dispatchers who managed to difuse an already volatile situation.

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Welcome King July 14 2014 at 10:31 PM

good job officers

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alamaden July 15 2014 at 10:24 AM

And its wonderful and such a brave act on his part of Bravery of Shooting to death 3 innocent people two of which were elderly and he gave them a fair chance before butchering them because he was so brave??? He even gave them a weapon to defend themselves because he is just a fair guy ..the POS

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cfabian46 July 15 2014 at 1:29 PM

There is no way he purchased assault rifles in America unless he is a police officer.
Get the facts correct or don't print them.

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Max Lilly July 15 2014 at 1:48 PM

Gun control is simple as requiring training to those who own guns. Trigger locks would have saved at least half of those who are killed EVERYDAY. What is it up to now? 10,000 a day/month/year? To give the guy the needle is too kind for him. First shoot him in the privates and while he is bleeding out, throw a tiger in with him. Terror to terrorists.

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