Rebecca Canales, Founder and CEO, Whittier 360 News Network
WHITTIER, CA - Whittier Police Department's Officer Mattson provided much-needed clarity on the standoff incident that took place near Whittier High School on Monday afternoon. The event had led to the school's lockdown and a flurry of conspiracy theories in two prominent Facebook community groups, Whittier And Surrounding Area News and THE Whittier Neighborhood Watch.
Contrary to rumors suggesting armed robberies, shootings, and other falsehoods, Officer Mattson confirmed that the incident began as a family dispute at a residence on 6700 Gregory Ave around 2:40 pm. The suspect, who was eventually taken into custody at 9 pm, was reported to possess a firearm, prompting a cautious and deliberate response from law enforcement.
The Whittier Police Department also debunked claims of an armed robbery at a nearby 7 Eleven, stating that the standoff on Gregory Ave had no connection to the store. The police were called to the scene as the suspect had threatened his own family. Upon the arrival of the officers, the family was allowed to leave the residence and met the police outside. Officer Mattson reported that the family members had various types of injuries, but the extent of those injuries remains unknown.
Regarding the suspect's mental health, Officer Mattson stated that it is currently unknown and the incident is still under investigation.
Officer Mattson also clarified that the suspect never entered the Whittier High School campus with a gun, contrary to claims made on Facebook groups. The lockdown was imposed as a precautionary measure due to the house's proximity to the school.
In response to questions about the loud bangs heard before the incident concluded, Officer Mattson said that the Whittier police did not fire any shots or use flashbang grenades. However, he could not confirm if the LA County Sheriff's Department, which had been assisting Whittier police with the incident, had used any such tactics.
The standoff near Whittier High School serves as a reminder of the importance of accurate information and responsible sharing of news, particularly in times of crisis.