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Public Safety

Gunman In Custody After Five-Hour Bankers Hill Standoff

A member of the San Diego police SWAT team responds to an incident at an apartment complex in Bankers Hill, Nov. 4, 2015.
Susan Page
A member of the San Diego police SWAT team responds to an incident at an apartment complex in Bankers Hill, Nov. 4, 2015.

Two members of the San Diego police SWAT team respond to an incident at an apartment complex in Bankers Hill, Nov. 4, 2015.
Susan Page
Two members of the San Diego police SWAT team respond to an incident at an apartment complex in Bankers Hill, Nov. 4, 2015.
San Diego police respond to an incident at an apartment complex in Bankers Hill, Nov. 4, 2015.
10News
San Diego police respond to an incident at an apartment complex in Bankers Hill, Nov. 4, 2015.

UPDATE Nov. 4, 2015, 2:45 p.m.:

A gunman is in custody Wednesday after a five-hour standoff in Bankers Hill.

The Federal Aviation Administration also lifted the hold on flights to Lindbergh Field at 2:20 p.m. The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority is encouraging passengers to continue to check with airlines on the status of their flights.

San Diego Police identified the gunman as 33-year-old Titus Colbert. Following the arrest, officers recovered an "AK-47 type" rifle and a pistol that the suspect apparently had been armed with.

Original story:

A domestic-violence suspect opened fire on patrol officers from inside his Bankers Hill apartment Wednesday, prompting evacuations and road closures in the uptown neighborhood just west of Balboa Park and forcing a suspension of flight arrivals at nearby Lindbergh Field.

San Diego police were responding to a reported disturbance in the 2400 block of Brant Street when they were fired on with a high-powered rifle about 9:15 a.m., San Diego police Lt. Scott Wahl said. The shots came through a closed interior door of the apartment, nearly striking the officers, Wahl said.

"We're talking within inches of hitting the officers," Wahl said, adding that there were no known injuries.

It was not initially known if the suspect, whose name was not immediately available, was alone in the fourth-floor residence in which he was holed up. Police made contact with the woman who said she was abused by the suspect.

Crisis negotiators were able to establish an "open dialogue" with the man, but he refused to surrender even after officers fired tear-gas grenades into his apartment, Wahl said.

Officers cleared residents out of some neighboring apartments and closed the street in front of the building along with stretches of Albatross, Curlew and Front streets between Laurel and West Ivy streets. Special weapons and tactics personnel also were called in.

Residents close to the scene of the gunfire were directed to stay in their homes and away from windows.

"(The shooter) has been actively firing, sporadically, throughout this incident," Wahl said.

Despite the gunfire, police believed they had the man "safely pinned in his apartment," the lieutenant said.

Nearby City Tree Christian, and Museum School were placed on lockdown status as a precaution. A lockdown at Washington Elementary School was lifted around 12:55 p.m.

St. Paul's placed four of its community centers — Manor & Villa, Senior Day and Child Care Center, PACE and McColl Health Centeron — on voluntary lockdown.

Aviation officials said flights were barred from landing at the San Diego airport because they were in the flight path of the man's apartment. Departures were briefly stopped before being resumed. Passengers flying out of Lindbergh Field on Wednesday were encouraged to check on the status of their flights before coming to the airport.

By early afternoon, four arrivals were canceled and many more were delayed, according to airport data. Because many airplanes weren't on hand to whisk passengers away, another 13 departures were canceled.

KPBS web producers Hoa Quach and Brooke Ruth contributed to this report.