Hostage Taker Shoots Himself

A 33-year-old Normal Heights man, armed with a shotgun and holding his wife and daughter hostage, kept San Diego Police at bay for more than three hours Thursday night before shooting himself, a San Diego Police spokesman said.

Taufa H. Fifita was taken to Mercy Hospital, and is in critical condition after shooting himself in the head, said Mercy Hospital spokesman Michael Cahill.

Police who arrived at the house in the 3900 block of Monroe Avenue at 9:45 p.m. were met by Fifita, who had the barrel of a shotgun in his mouth.

"Apparently he was distraught over his common-law-wife separating from him," police spokesman Bill Robinson said.

More than 2 dozen police, including a SWAT team, stood by as negotiators attempted to talk Fifita into putting down his gun and releasing his hostages, Robinson said.

At 11:30 p.m., police heard two gunshots. The SWAT team fired tear gas into the house and entered. It found Fifita slumped in the bedroom with a gunshot in his head. His wife and daughter were not injured.

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