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11-hour standoff at University Heights home, prompted by reported home invasion, ends in arrest

A roughly 11-hour standoff at a University Heights home — prompted by a report of an armed home invasion — ended with a suspect in custody, San Diego police said.

The incident happened at the same home where four people overdosed last week, two fatally.

On Monday, officers were sent to the home on Louisiana Street near El Cajon Boulevard around 8:35 a.m. after police received a 911 call reporting an armed home-invasion robbery in progress, police spokesman Lt. Adam Sharki said.

He said no injuries were reported.

Initial reports indicated the call was regarding people who had shown up at the home looking for drugs.

Sharki said officers arrived and detained two people. A third person remained inside the home. Efforts to coax him out were “not immediately successful,” Sharki said.

About 11:30 a.m., SWAT and the Emergency Negotiations Team were called to the scene. Police used a megaphone to instruct the suspect to surrender, as well as what sounded like flash bangs.

Police closed several streets in the area, including a stretch of Louisiana Street and Meade Avenue. Residents on Louisiana near the home where the standoff unfolded were asked to shelter in place.

The suspect remained holed up until about 7:40 p.m., when police took him into custody. Further information about the arrest was not immediately available.

Last Thursday morning, four people in the home overdosed, police said. Two of the people were treated with Narcan — medication that reverses the effects of opioid overdoses — and survived. Two others died.

One of the people who fatally overdosed was Zachary Whalen, 35. Late Monday morning, his sister and mother went to the home he shared with roommates to pick up some items from Whalen’s room. Instead they came upon the standoff.

Sarah Whalen said her brother was studying psychology at California State University, San Marcos. She described him as funny, kind and selfless.

“He had a very infectious laugh,” she said.

She said it was unclear what kind of drug killed her brother, who struggled on and off with substance abuse over the years.

“I just want to make sure that whoever potentially was responsible for what happened to him gets held accountable 100 percent so they can’t do that same thing to other people,” she said.

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