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Man In Shootout With Police Allegedly Tried To Use 5-Month Old Son As Shield

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A suspect involved in a shootout and chase with police in Long Beach and San Pedro allegedly threatened to use his 5-month old son as a shield. Thankfully, the baby was unharmed, even as shots were exchanged between the suspect and officers.

The incident began around 2 a.m. Saturday morning when 22-year old Joseph Gonzales fired a gun during a domestic dispute in his home on the 6500 block of Rosebay Street in Long Beach. When officers arrived, Gonzales had left but called back and said he would return with his son while also threatening his family and police officers. "He specifically stated he would harm the baby and use him as a shield against police," said Nancy Pratt of the Long Beach police. Upon returning to his house, he got into the first of two shootouts with police, according to FOX 11.

Gonzales took off in his SUV, with officers unaware his son was also in the car, and led police officers on a chase all the way to San Pedro, where he shot at police again. A police car was shot up by Gonzales, but the officer in the car was hurt only by broken glass. Gonzales then surrendered to police shortly thereafter.

Gonzales' 5-month old son was found in the back seat of his SUV, luckily unharmed. "Although uninjured, he was transported to a local hospital as a precaution and released later to family in San Pedro," said Pratt.

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One resident in the San Pedro neighborhood who witnessed the end of the pursuit couldn't believe that someone would endanger a young child in such a manner. "I can't wrap my head around somebody that would do something like that with a child in the car," said Jeremy Crandall. "Scary and sad."