Man Arrested After Three-Hour Standoff

From a Times Staff Writer

A 28-year-old man was arrested early Saturday on multiple counts of attempted murder after he allegedly shot his ex-wife and her companion, then fired on two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department helicopters during a three-hour standoff with deputies.

Kenneth Counts went to his ex-wife’s house in the 1000 block of South Muriel Avenue in Compton late Friday, authorities said.

Deputies arrived at the house at 9:47 p.m. after getting reports that two shots had been fired and that a woman was screaming, said sheriff’s spokesman Scott Butler. The woman and man at the scene had each been shot once. They were hospitalized in stable condition Saturday, Butler said. No one else was injured.

The woman identified her assailant, who had fled before deputies arrived, as her ex-husband, and gave deputies his home address.


Witnesses later reported seeing the suspect inside a convenience store in the 4400 block of Rosecrans Avenue, threatening the store clerk with an assault-style weapon, Butler said.

The gunman left the store and returned to an apartment in the 600 block of North Sloan Avenue, authorities said.

Deputies arrived a few minutes later. “When the first deputy arrived, he was fired upon by the suspect,” Butler said, prompting an evacuation of dozens of residents.

Counts allegedly fired 20 to 30 rounds from a driveway at a sheriff’s helicopter, Air 21, then ran inside when deputies on the ground were forced “to return fire to protect themselves and people in the neighborhood,” Butler said.

The man later went back outside and shot at both Air 21 and a second sheriff’s helicopter, Air 22, the spokesman said.

Crisis negotiators talked the gunman out of the house after 1 a.m. Counts was booked on multiple counts of attempted murder, burglary and spousal abuse and was being held on $6.1 million in bail, Butler said.