Wanted man found dead in burning house after SWAT standoff in Lancaster

A standoff with a wanted felon in Lancaster came to a dramatic end overnight when a Los Angeles County sheriff's SWAT team fired tear gas into a home, which then caught fire, and the man was found dead inside.

Lt. Holly Francisco said it's unclear how the man died and his identity was not immediately available.


The standoff began about 7:30 p.m. Thursday when the sheriff's SWAT team went to a home in the 45000 block of Gadsden Avenue with a warrant to arrest the felon who was suspected of having a gun, authorities said in a news release. The man was considered armed and dangerous and refused to give himself up.

Authorities used a public-address system to order him out and tried diversionary tactics outside the house that didn't work, Lt. Holly Francisco told reporters at the scene. The SWAT team ultimately decided to fire tear gas into the home.

"Gas was deployed inside the house and a fire was ignited. We don't know what caused that," Francisco said.

The SWAT team members -- some armed with guns, others carrying hoses -- went into the home while it was still on fire to search for the man and found his body.

A cause of death has yet to be determined and the cause of the fire is also under investigation.

Francisco told KTLA a sawed-off shotgun was also found inside.

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna.