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SAN DIEGO - A San Diego police officer was fatally wounded at an apartment complex during an eight-hour siege that ended Thursday when officers found the suspected killer and a woman dead in a bedroom littered with guns, police said.
The standoff lasted until 6:45 a.m., when authorities blew a hole in the wall of the second-story apartment and found the two bodies, authorities said.
It was not immediately clear whether the two people committed suicide or died during the shootout. They were not immediately identified.
Authorities said Officer Christopher Wilson, a 17-year veteran of the department, died at a hospital.
The confrontation began about 10:45 p.m. Wednesday when federal probation officers and U.S. marshals went to the apartment in southeast San Diego to check on a man who was on probation and to serve an arrest warrant on another man wanted for assault with a deadly weapon, police Lt. Andra Brown said.
Someone inside opened the door then slammed it on officers, who kicked in the door and took the probationer into custody as the man wanted for assault barricaded himself in a bedroom.
San Diego police were called to search the apartment, and several officers were inside when the gunman shot at them, hitting Wilson and prompting police to return fire, police said.
Two officers fled the apartment then went back inside to retrieve their wounded comrade, Brown said.
Ryan Davis, a resident of another apartment, told the San Diego Union-Tribune he heard six to 12 shots fired from what sounded like handguns and a shotgun.
Dozens of San Diego police officers, deputies and federal officers responded and a special weapons team cordoned off the apartment and evacuated nearby buildings.
A man who only identified himself as Luis watched the siege from a grocery store parking lot across the street wearing a Red Cross blanket and bright blue socks. He told The Associated Press he was in a downstairs apartment with his wife and two small children when he heard gunfire.
"I just hear like a big boom, then they exchanged some words, then I heard 'Officer down! Officer down!,'" he said.
Luis said he rushed to his window and saw police carrying another officer with a blood-covered neck and face down the stairs.
He continued to hear gunshots and told his family to take cover. Moments later, an officer banged on the door and told them to get out. The family fled as shots rang in the darkness, Luis said.
Luis said he saw about 50 men, women and children running, crouched over, out of the complex. Some were in pajamas and slippers.
At about 3 a.m., the SWAT team fired a flash-bang grenade inside the apartment. A man and woman came outside and were detained, but the man wasn't the gunman, Brown said.
She did not immediately know whether the couple and the man detained by federal authorities had been arrested.
Luis said a couple lived in the upstairs apartment where he heard the noise, and he had seen a small girl there but did not know if she also was a resident.
"They looked like really calm people," he said. "I never thought they would be like that."
A police dog named Monty also was wounded in the shooting but is expected to survive, Brown said.
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