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US: Gunman killed, boy hurt during LA hostage standoff

24 Dec 2008 2:14 PM

EL MONTE, California, Dec 23 AP - A camouflaged gunman has been killed during a standoff with police that began when he snatched a boy off the sidewalk and held him hostage in a suburban Los Angeles restaurant.

Sheriff's officials say the man was declared dead Tuesday night at the El Monte restaurant following gunshots. The six-year-old boy was hit in the leg and transported to a hospital in critical but stable condition.

It was not clear who fired the shots.

Detective Ralph Batres says the man, whose name has not been released, grabbed the boy off a sidewalk with a handgun and took him into a back room of a Chinese restaurant.

Authorities negotiated with the man for about two hours before a flash-bang grenade exploded and gunshots were fired inside the building.