Man with chainsaw, gasoline involved in standoff with LAPD for hours in Mission Hills before surrendering

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MISSION HILLS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Los Angeles police were involved in a standoff for hours with a man allegedly armed with a chainsaw and spilling gasoline in the back of a pickup truck.

The incident happened Tuesday afternoon in the parking lot of a strip mall in Mission Hills near San Fernando Mission and Sepulveda boulevards.

The intersection was blocked off for several hours as SWAT officers attempted to convince the man to surrender peacefully. Nearby businesses were also evacuated.

At least two SWAT bearcat vehicles were on scene and K-9 units were standing by as officers watched the man gesture and yell from the bed of a pickup truck filled with gardening equipment.

At one point the man was seen placing a pink trash can on his head. At another moment, police believed he was pouring gasoline out in the truck and may have had a lighter with him.

The initial call was reported as a person with a chainsaw.

“At one point he recovered one of his chainsaws from the back of the truck and he started the chainsaw,” said Lt. Samer Issa with LAPD. “So the officers maintained their distance and they continued to de-escalate the situation.”

The standoff finally ended peacefully after about three hours when the man agreed to surrender to officers.

One woman at the scene told Eyewitness News she sees the suspect around the neighborhood and believes he has been living on the streets for years. He appears to have mental-health issues, she said, and she sometimes gives him food.

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