Deputy sheriffs lobbed "flash-bang" grenades into a McDonald's to divert a gunman and stormed the restaurant early Tuesday, rescuing the last of 14 people held hostage up to seven hours, authorities say.
No injuries were reported after the standoff.The Los Angeles County sheriff's SWAT team, which never made contact with the gunman, got help from an 18-year-old assistant manager of the restaurant who hid in the kitchen. Ramiro Gironas spied on the gunman, reporting his movements by telephone throughout the standoff, authorities said.
"All I know was to take care of my people, my crew," Gironas said. "I'm glad I'm safe and that all my people are safe. I'm not a hero. I just did what I had to."
The hostages, including several children, had been forced to lie on the floor under tables at the after-school hangout, authorities said.
The gunman had fled to the McDonald's from a holdup at a nearby clothing store and took the hostages about 5:30 p.m. Monday. A second participant in the earlier robbery was arrested outside the McDonald's, authorities said.
Six hours later, SWAT officers rescued 12 hostages from the restaurant basement, authorities said.
Shortly after midnight, they said, "flash-bang" grenades were used divert the gunman and a deputy seized him and rescued the last two hostages.
"They were able to get inside without being detected," sheriff's Deputy Bill Wehner said. "A deputy leaped over the counter and took the suspect into custody."