Man arrested after standoff in central Fresno

The Fresno BeeJune 13, 2014 

An armed Fresno man surrendered peacefully Friday night after a lengthy standoff with police and SWAT teams, police said.

Lt. Joe Gomez of the Fresno Police Department said that Gabriel Mejia, 29, was high on methamphetamine and armed with a handgun when he forced his estranged girlfriend to call 911 from her home in the 2600 block of North First Street at around 2 p.m. Friday. Mejia told her that if she didn't call the police, he would walk out of her house and start shooting people at random. Operators could hear Mejia yelling that he wanted to die by police suicide.

Gomez said Mejia left the woman's residence before police arrived. He was spotted outside of his apartment in the 1200 block of East Vassar Avenue, and police surrounded the apartment complex and called in negotiators.

When negotiators made contact with Mejia, he walked out of his apartment with a gun in his hand and told officers they would have to kill him. At one point, Mejia brought out a chair and laid the gun on the ground in front of him, Gomez said. This taunting continued for several hours.

Gomez said SWAT teams were assembling when Mejia finally surrendered to police at around 8:30 p.m. He was charged with brandishing a firearm and booked on a previous warrant for assault with a deadly weapon.

After the arrest, police determined that the handgun Mejia had used was actually an airsoft pistol.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6015 or at rappleton@fresnobee.com.

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