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Gunman Found Dead After Standoff

December 1, 1997

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) _ A man wanted in the ambush shooting of a convenience store clerk used a personal arsenal to hold off authorities for 14 hours before police determined he had died in an explosion.

Even then, police were cautious about moving the body because investigators discovered the man’s home near Albuquerque, N.M., was rigged with booby traps. His military-style equipment included hand grenades, body armor, camouflage clothing and a gas mask he used to resist tear gas during the siege.

The gunman apparently set off the explosion that killed him, said police Sgt. Joe Vargas.

``Whether it was something he did himself intentionally or unintentionally has not been determined,″ Vargas said.

Police said the gunman, whose name was not immediately released, fled to his room at the Calico Hotel after shooting Jonathan Ed Sumey, 35, in the head Sunday morning as he stepped outside the store where he worked.

Sumey was listed in critical condition at University of California, Irvine Medical Center. Vargas said the motive for the shooting wasn’t known.

During the standoff, the hotel, three nearby motels and some homes were evacuated.

The gunman fired at least 10 rounds from an assault rifle when police threw a phone to him in an effort to make contact.

He told police he had grenades, and later officers heard at least two explosions. A camera-equipped robot was sent to investigate but could not get through the barricaded hotel room door.

After a flash-bang device was lobbed into the room and provoked no response, an officer went inside and discovered the gunman dead.

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