Quiet Neighborhood Stunned by Swat Standoff

Caitlyn Landi-Bishop, Staff Writer

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Residents on Mount Saint Helens Dr. located in Clairemont, San Diego had a terrifying night as a resident,  Hayden Gerson, 33, assaulted police officers and a standoff with SWAT took place.

Around 9:00 p.m. on Monday Dec. 12, two police officers were alerted to a domestic violence call on Mount Saint Helens Dr. This was a result of Hayden Gerson’s ex-girlfriend being scared for his and her wellbeing after she had gone over to check on him after being broken up for months. Gerson’s ex-girlfriend sent a text to one of her friends asking her to call the police immediately and have them sent to Gerson’s home.

When two police officers arrived at the scene Hayden Gerson, although agitated, spoke with the officers. They were able to safely get Gerson’s ex-girlfriend from the home. However, after this is where the scene escalated. An agitated Gerson was tased by the officers, but to no avail. Gerson responded to this by choking and punching the officers, before retreating into his home where he returned to the front door with a gun.

The female police officer was able to get her and her male officer partner from the scene even though he was fairly injured  from the physical altercation. After which an ambulance came and took the officers to the hospital for immediate attention. Backup  came in the form of nearly 10 police cars, a helicopter circling, two snipers, and the SWAT team rushing in on this quiet little San Diego street.

The whole neighborhood was essentially on lockdown and people, as well as their animals, were evacuated from their homes. A witness to the incident, Cheyenne Santa Maria, stated “Last night was crazy. I never thought I would experience something like this. Seeing the swat team line up and get ready and then hearing the gun shots and the cops screaming was unbelievable. Never thought our neighborhood would ever get to this point”

The standoff lasted for just over two hours before gunshots were heard coming from inside Gerson’s house. At 11:47 PM, Gerson opened fire in the direction of the police officers in the street. Local residents hit the ground as gunshots began rapidly firing off from the suspect and authorities.

After sometime,  the 30 rounds or so being shot ceased and chaos broke out in the crime scene as officers were concerned for their fellow law enforcement and law enforcement dogs.

SWAT began throwing gas canisters into Gerson’s home, which momentarily forced him through the front door and into the street. Authorities say the suspect did not comply with police orders and was shot with multiple rubber bullets to subdue him. One of the police dogs on scene was then released on Gerson, to which he strangled and bit the dog. The officers were able to then grab the dog off of the suspect and take him into custody.

The suspect, police dog, and police officers hurt during the incident were all treated for their injuries and will fully recover.

Gerson will most likely be charged with several attempts of murder and multiple other charges. For those who knew him in the neighborhood, this incident was a shocking surprise.

A neighbor who lives on the same street and witness to the incident, Michelle Olson Martin, stated: “I didn’t realize how dangerous the situation was until after it was over.  I am just relieved that nobody lost their lives last night.  Praying for all whom were affected by this tragedy.

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