ORANGE : Laid-Off Trucker Held After Standoff

A man distraught about losing his job threatened to kill himself and his wife, before police captured him Friday after a seven-hour standoff.

Timothy Walker Murray, 30, was laid off Wednesday as a truck driver for the Alpha Beta grocery chain and had been taking sedatives with alcohol, Police Lt. Timm Browne said.

"He's just been real incensed over cutbacks at work," Browne said.

Murray and his wife of two months began arguing Thursday night at their home in the 200 block of North Renee Street, Mary Murray told officers. He fired his handgun into a sliding glass door and broke it.

He also threatened to kill her and himself if she called police, they said. The argument continued early Friday morning, and he fired several shots into the ceiling.

Mary Murray, 31, was able to escape to a neighbor's house to call police at about 5:45 a.m., Brown said. She also called her parents, who drove from Pomona to watch the standoff with her from a block away behind police cars, which were set up on Ryals Lane and Renee Street.

Rescuers tried to negotiate with Murray on the phone throughout the morning, but he repeatedly hung up on them. About 9 a.m., he said he wanted to be allowed to go to his mother in Alabama, Browne said.

After 11 a.m., officers played a tape of Mary Murray's voice into a bullhorn aimed at the house, hoping she could persuade him to come out.

"Timmy, it's me," said Mary Murray, who is pregnant and who has lived with Murray for five years. "Things are going to be OK. But I want you to talk to police. They're going to help us. They're here to help us. I love you. Please talk to them."

About noon, Timothy Murray finally came out without his gun, trying to get officers to move a police car from his driveway so he could leave to see his mother in Alabama, Brown said. Investigators distracted him, grabbed him from behind, then took him to a county mental health facility, where he will be observed for 72 hours.

No criminal charges will be filed against him, police said.

Officers found the house "in a state of disarray with many more bullet holes," Browne said. Murray had been shooting at more walls and ceilings in the living room and the couple's bedroom.

The handgun was found in a duffel bag he had been packing for the trip to Alabama, officials said. The Murrays' two Persian cats and two Doberman pinschers also were found safe.

The wife's mother, Marilyn Karabela, said she did not know that her son-in-law had just lost his job.

"We were quite surprised to get a phone call (8 a.m.)," Karabela said. "He's a fine young man, and I've never had any problems with him."

The Alpha Beta Co. states that it is against policy to comment on personnel.

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