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A Sacramento murder suspect flees to Fresno, and after an hours-long standoff with police, is found dead.
It all started Wednesday night in Sacramento.
Police say 28-year-old Ma Phompong was the suspect in a deadly Sacramento home invasion robbery that left one man dead and his wife, severely beaten.
Sacramento police contacted Fresno police, saying they thought he was headed to a relative's house in the Fresno area.
Fresno police tracked down the suspect around three Thursday morning at an apartment on the 3700 block of South Clay in Central Fresno.
The SWAT team deployed and evacuated the area. Police used flash bangs and tear gas to try to get Phompong to talk to them.
After getting no response, they sent in their robot around 11 am.
The robot's camera revealed what looked like feet on the bedroom floor.
The SWAT team entered the home and discovered Phompong, dead, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
"We have a saying, time talk and tear gas. That is what we try to utilize in the swat calls. And we, as you can see, utilized a great deal of time, a great deal of patience, a great deal of tear gas. Unfortunately we were not able to talk with the individual at any time. And although we would've liked to take the suspect into custody alive, he made the decision to take his own life," Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said.
Police say Phompong was a parolee and involved in another home invasion in 1998 where a victim was stabbed to death.
Hundreds of residents in that Central Fresno neighborhood are still reeling after the course of events that shook that entire community.
Fresno police cars lined the street Thursday and as the hours passed so too did the neighbors.
Like so many others, Rosa Mistretta wasn't going anywhere.
"I didn't leave. I actually had to call my work and let them know I wasn't going to go in until they let us go," Mistretta said.
"Stuff happens around here all the time, but it's never that big. So it was kind of a surprise that the streets were closed off," Neighbor Lupe Jimenez added.
For parents taking their kids to school or people trying to run errands, getting back home wasn't so easy.
"If you could leave, which a lot of people weren't able to, but for some reason, they did let you out with you car, you had to park you car down there and be escorted in," Mistretta said.
Others simply stayed inside, waiting anxiously, listening to the scene unravel outside their door.
"I heard blasting from inside the house more than once. I heard them talking over the loud speaker, giving him warnings, telling him, hey were here to help you or whatever," Mistretta said.
Residents say this Central Fresno neighborhood is full of children, which makes the "what-ifs" of Thursday's standoff truly frightening.
"They're either playing in the street, ball or whatever they're doing. Usually just up and down in the street and that is kind of sad," Mistretta said.
Mistretta eventually got to work, five hours late, but just happy to be safe.
"Usually you hear about a standoff somewhere on the other side of Fresno or in another town. But you never hear of it half a block away from you," she said.
12 apartments in total were evacuated.
Most of those residents are back in their homes.
But those people living in the four-plex where Phompong fled won't be able to get in their homes for at least a few days.
Police say there was so much tear-gas let off in the building that it's too dangerous for anyone to go inside, unless they're wearing a safety gear.
Police say all of the residents, including the suspect's relatives are cooperating with the investigation.
FOX 20

 
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