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Apparent hostage situation preceded standoff

From Staff Reports

BARSTOW - A standoff over the weekend that ended with a man's possible suicide began as an apparent hostage situation, officials said Monday.

Anthony Aguon Jr., 23, died Saturday after noon after a standoff with police.

The incident began when Barstow Police responded to a 911 call on the 1200 block of Nancy Street at about 3 p.m. Saturday, according to a report that listed an unidentified 29-year-old woman as a victim. Police were told Aguon was holding a family member hostage. While police evacuated neighbors, Augon's family member came outside and said Aguon was alone inside with a rifle.

"We were outside because we had just bought a new car, and we were washing our old one when three police officers came up and told us to evacuate," Kathleen Rackel said. "Then they moved all about 25 of us farther down the road, and we saw the SWAT team coming, which was kind of scary for the kids."

During the telephone call with Aguon, the negotiator heard a shot. A member of the special response team put tear gas into the apartment in an attempt to force Aguon out. When the special response team entered, they found Aguon dead in a bedroom, with a gunshot would next to a sawed-off shotgun, according to the report. The coroner will perform an autopsy to determine whether the wound was self-inflicted.

"The tear gas blew into our house," Tamara Ortiz said. "When I got back inside, my eyes were burning and I was sneezing, so I went back outside."

Aguon was on parole for assault with a deadly weapon.

Anyone with infor mation about the crime can call Barstow police at 256-2211 or Detective Leo Griego at 255-5187. To remain anonymous, call WeTip at 1(800)78-CRIME.

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