Armed man shot and killed by Seal Beach police
Police responding to reports of a suspicious person at a Seal Beach home shot and killed an armed man Monday evening, department officials said Tuesday morning.
Officers received a call for service from the 100 block of Old Ranch Road at 9:36 p.m., Seal Beach police wrote in a news release. They encountered a person outside of a home who “produced a gun,” they said.
A semiautomatic handgun was found at the scene.
At least one officer shot the person. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.
The man who died was later identified as Michael Bernard Emch Jr., 47, by Seal Beach police. He was described as an Orange County resident associated with multiple addresses.
Emch had been the subject of an active restraining order stemming from a domestic violence incident in Seal Beach in July, police said.
Elisabeth Rios recently moved into the neighborhood from Anaheim and said she was cooking when the shooting happened.
“I heard it and thought ‘dang fireworks,’ but then realized I don’t live next to Disneyland anymore.”
She, her 16-year-old son, Charlie, and 17-year-old daughter, Vanessa, went out to their second-floor balcony. They saw numerous officers with guns drawn surrounding a man outside of a home across the street. They heard them command him to drop a weapon, as well what sounded like a woman wailing and crying “no” over and over, Rios said.
Glenn Newman lives across the street from the scene. He was having a conversation with his son in their backyard when they heard what sounded like 10 or more gunshots.
“We stopped and asked each other, ‘Did you hear that?’” he said.
Steve Richardson lives next door to where the shooting happened and said he heard two gun shots, a brief pause, and then at least six more. He immediately found his wife in another room and advised her to stay away from windows as police vehicles poured into their neighborhood.
“They must have had every officer in the department out here,” Richardson said. “We hunkered down.”
Officers had swarmed their neighborhood by the time Newman went to his frontyard and called 911. Paramedics later arrived and spent a brief period of time at the scene before loading one person onto a stretcher and into an ambulance, he and Rios said.
“I’m not sure if he was alive or dead at that point,” Newman said.
Richardson said he and his wife did not recognize the man who was taken to a hospital Sunday evening. They said the woman who lives at that residence moved in about a year ago with two young children.
Rios said she had seen the man at the property where the shooting happened as recently as last week. She added that he did not appear to be a trespasser at that time.
“I think a lot of us in the neighborhood are in a state of shock,” Glenn Newman’s wife, Michele Newman, said. “But maybe that’s not entirely a bad thing; that tells you we don’t normally see things like this happening here.”
Anyone who might have information relevant to investigators should contact Seal Beach Sgt. Jeff Gibson at (562) 799-4100, ext. 1128, or JGibson@sealbeachca.gov.
No officers were injured during the encounter. The Orange County district attorney’s office was investigating the matter alongside Seal Beach police, which is standard procedure whenever a member of law enforcement shoots someone.
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