HANFORD — A four-hour police standoff ended in tragedy Wednesday night when an armed suicidal man shot himself at a storage facility on Grangeville Boulevard.
The man, who has not been identified, was seen holding a gun to his head around 6 p.m. Officers were called out to the Santa Fe Mini Storage to check on him. They confirmed that he was armed and set up a perimeter around the business.
Unconfirmed reports say the man had at least three rifles in his possession. Police quickly discounted rumors that the man had taken hostages.
Traffic was diverted away from Grangeville Boulevard and bystanders were asked to stay back in case shots were fired.
Officers made numerous attempts to speak with the man. The Hanford Police Department Hostage Negotiation Team threw a phone into the storage unit where the man had barricaded himself in. He refused to answer and would not respond to orders to surrender.
The Central Valley Regional SWAT Team arrived on the scene at 8:30 p.m. After more than an hour of waiting, they sent in a robot to check on the man's welfare. Footage relayed to the SWAT members showed the man sprawled on the ground. The SWAT Team went in and found the man deceased, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Police Capt. Parker Sever said they made every effort to bring the incident to a peaceful resolution. The case remains under investigation. Detectives were still on the scene late Wednesday after authorities reopened the roadways and tore down the caution tape.
It’s not clear if HPD will release the name of the deceased. They denied early reports that the man was Dennis Hill, the owner of the facility.
Sentinel Staff member Camille Taylor contributed to this report.
The reporter can be reached at 583-2425 or by email at jjohnson@HanfordSentinel.com.