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Masked Gunman Shuts Down 101 Fwy in Santa Barbara

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With an American flag and gun in hand, a could-be suicidal masked man in fatigues and body armor on the northbound 101 Freeway in Santa Barbara, first spotted around 7:15 a.m., forced officials to shut down the artery in both directions at the La Cumbre overpass. SWAT is on scene and are expected to attempt negotiations as traffic snarls the morning commute.

UPDATE:"The reason appears to be anti-war, but I don't know the specifics," Sgt. Lorenzo Duarte. Duarte said of the masked gunman that stopped 101 Freeway traffic for hours starting this morning around 7:10 a.m.

SWAT members tried to communicate with the man with a bullhorn and after three hours, he put his handgun down, but police did not immediate move in, according the Assocated Press. Finally, the man was talked down. No shots or injuries have been reported.

UPDATE #2: Police say the gunman is 28-year-old Eddie Vantassel, an Iraqi War Veteran.