Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies attempting to serve an arrest warrant Friday morning at a house in a remote location near Sylmar shot and killed a man who deputies said stepped out of the house and opened fire on them.
The house later burned to the ground.
The shooting occurred about 7:15 a.m., but the man’s body remained in front of the house until about 12:30 p.m. because deputies believed a second armed man was in the house.
Sheriff’s spokeswoman Mary Landreth said it is not known whether the man died immediately from the gunshots, or died during the more than five hours that it took to determine that a second suspect was not in the house.
After firing tear gas into the house, deputies entered it but did not find anyone else.
Landreth said the dead man was not the person named in the warrant. She said investigators did not know his identity or why he was at the house on Little Tujunga Canyon Road.
The 50-year-old man named in the warrant is a suspect in the attempted rape of a 21-year-old woman, Landreth said.
No deputies were injured in the exchange of fire.
Landreth said it was not immediately known how many rounds were fired by deputies or the man who was killed.
The Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Bureau, a weapons and tactical team, was attempting to serve the warrant because deputies learned during their investigation that the suspect might be heavily armed.
Landreth said the man who died shot at officers with a .45-caliber assault rifle. He also had a .38-caliber revolver in his waistband.
A Sheriff’s Department spokesman said deputies were investigating currency found tucked into a wire fence at the house. He would not say what connection the currency had to the shooting.
Late Friday night, more than 12 hours after the shooting, the house burst into flames and appeared likely to be destroyed, the Los Angeles County Fire Department reported.
The Sheriff’s Department said it was not known if the fire had any connection to the shooting.