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Seal Beach neighborhood on lockdown following reports of shooting

July 16, 2017

SEAL BEACH – SWAT teams flooded a coastal neighborhood Sunday evening after reports of an active shooter forced residents to stay inside and lock their doors.

“Gunshots. All I heard was gunshots,” said Dylan Bolander, a 14-year-old who lives on the second floor of an apartment building along 7th Street near Central Avenue.

A woman called 911 at 7:20 p.m. and asked for assistance, according to Sgt. Michael Henderson. Then police said the line went dead. When they arrived at the apartment complex where the 911 call came from, multiple witnesses told police they had heard shots fired.

Police said they hadn’t heard a sound from inside the apartment at 121 7th St. since they got there.

“We are treating this situation as a barricade situation,” Henderson said at 11 p.m. “However, we are using additional technology to try and determine what may be going on in there.”

He declined to give more details for fear of compromising the safety of the SWAT team.

Officers expanded the lockdown area after 10 p.m., asking residents along 6th and 8th streets to also stay inside their homes.

Dozens of police units were on the scene, with reports of deputies responding from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department along with officers from Huntington Beach, Long Beach, Westminster, Cerritos and Fountain Valley.

After she heard three gunshots, Bolander said a man came down from the floor above shaking and crying. He told Bolander that the man who lives next-door to him is an off-duty cop who had his girlfriend over visiting. The neighbor reported hearing the girlfriend yell, “No, don’t do this.” Then the man heard shots fired.

Greg Meier is a maintenance man in the building and lives on the first floor. He came home from the Seal Beach Lions Community Fish Fry and was watching TV when he heard three shots.

“Next thing I know, police are showing up, barricading the street and running around with guns,” Meier said.

Kim Kreuzer, who lives along Seventh Street, said she was sitting in her living room when she heard this message blare down from a police helicopter circling overhead: “If you live in the 100 or 200 block of Seventh Street, go inside and lock your doors.”

April Czach, 26, was also told to stay in her home on 14th Street. She and her husband were watching TV when he heard what he thought were firecrackers. Soon they saw cop cars flying down the street.

Czach said the neighborhood is normally quiet.

But for some longtime residents, the trauma was hitting close to home.

Meier is a family friend of Scott Dekraai, who shot and killed eight people in 2011 in the Salon Meritage. The city is approaching the sixth anniversary of the October massacre.

“This brings back a lot of bad memories,” Meier said.

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