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Dispatcher praised for getting gunman to surrender

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 14, 2014 at 4:54 am •  Published: July 14, 2014
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PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Police are praising a dispatcher and crisis negotiator for persuading a gunman to surrender after he allegedly shot and killed three people in a Southern California neighborhood, wounded two others and fired on officers.

John Izeal Smith, 35, is suspected of killing a woman Saturday inside a Pasadena house, then killing two men outside and firing at officers before holing up back inside the house where the violence began.

Smith surrendered after a tense, 20-minute call to the dispatcher who was assisted by a crisis negotiator, Police Chief Phillip Sanchez said in a statement Sunday.

"The suspect willfully murdered and injured innocent people without warning as he fired more than 40 rounds from a semi-automatic rifle," Sanchez said. "However, the courage of our dispatchers, police officers, firefighters and community members who valiantly tried to help the victims is impressive and speaks to the resolve of our community."

The statement said the dispatcher and crisis negotiator convinced the gunman to surrender in part through their calm demeanor. Officials planned to release a recording of the 911 call on Monday.

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