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Chula Vista man suspected of killing neighbor commits suicide after standoff with SWAT

A 42-year-old man suspected of killing his neighbor commited suicide after an eight-hour standoff with the SWAT unit, Chula Vista police said late Thursday afternoon.

A gunshot had been heard inside the apartment where the suspected gunman had been barricaded. Police sent in a robotic device equipped with a camera; the man was found dead, an apparent suicide, police said.

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A single gunshot had been heard within an hour of the gunman releasing three hostages: his wife or girlfriend and two small boys.

The gunman is suspected of killing a neighbor Thursday morning.

For more than eight hours, the gunman refused to let his wife or girlfriend or the two boys leave, police said.

At 3:30 p.m., the woman and the children left unharmed. By 4:30 a.m. a gunshot was heard within the apartment.

Police had hoped to negotiate with the man over the telephone to persuade him to surrender peacefully, said Capt. Lon Turner.

The gunman may have been armed with a high-powered assault rifle, police said. Multiple shots were heard around 7:40 a.m.

The nature of the dispute between the neighbor and the suspected gunman is unknown, Turner said.

Chula Vista police and a SWAT team surrounded the apartment building, which is south of downtown San Diego. A crisis negotiator was called.

Neighbors were initially asked to stay in their apartments, and a police helicopter was circling above, issuing warnings.

At noon, police decided to evacuate residents of the apartment building. More than 50 residents were loaded onto buses and taken to a senior center.

For more San Diego area news, follow @LATsandiego.

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