SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A child and two foreign exchange students are safe, after a SWAT situation in Spring Valley comes to an end Friday morning.
Deputies arrived at a residence in the 1600 block of Ramona Avenue near Eucalyptus Street around 9:30 p.m. Thursday to investigate a report of an argument involving the suspect and an injured victim, according Lt. Andrea Arreola, with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.
Deputies attempted to coax the felony domestic violence suspect out of the home, where he had holed up along with a seven-year-old child, his mother and two 17-year-old Chinese foreign exchange students. But when he refused, deputies called the SWAT team to the scene at about 1:30 a.m. Friday, Arreola said.
At one point, the suspect, 30-year-old Francois Konekotto, allegedly threw a stool at his wife and the broken pieces could be seen on their front porch.
Hostage negotiators used a bullhorn to finally persuade Konekotto to come out of the house. His wife escaped with non life-threatening injuries and the child and two teenagers also made it out safely.
"We had our team out here since three this morning and within the last two minutes the suspect did surrender. The young boy is fine, the two exchange students are fine, and he is fine," said San Diego County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson, Jan Caldwell.
As he was taken into custody, Konekotto was seen screaming at deputies with a ventilated white bag over his face.
Neighbors said the former member of the Navy "just snapped" and held children hostage in the house with a weapon.
"There was yelling. It was a domestic violence situation and of course they were scared. It's a matter of getting them the help that they need, as well as his wife,” explained Caldwell.
"It was loud, blood curdling terrible awful screaming,” said one neighbor.
Neighbors and friends said that this is not the man they knew, who they describe as very friendly and well-mannered. They said he was part of the Navy, built and raced motorcycles and was part of a club.
"Always seemed very nice, never heard any loud noises and their kid is extremely well-adjusted,” explained a neighbor.
A good family friend, who is battling cancer, said this was out of character for the man and that he came to her house with a bible to encourage her earlier this week.
Other residents said they believe Konekotto may have suffered from PTSD.
His wife will be interviewed in the hospital. Konekotto will face charges.