Former San Marino resident John Gabriel remains in custody following an incident that took place in the late night hours of Wednesday, Sept. 11 and ended the following morning at his former residence in the 2100 block of Sherwood Road. Bail has been set at $3 million for Gabriel, who was a candidate for what were at the time three open seats on the San Marino school board at the November 2018 election. He faces ten felony charges and four misdemeanor counts of making criminal threats, assault, child endangerment, possession of an unregistered firearm, possession of cocaine, possession of methamphetamine, possession of narcotics for the purpose of sale, and other charges.
Apparently estranged from his family, Gabriel arrived at his former Sherwood Rd. home at approximately 10:00 p.m. on September 11. After a verbal confrontation, Gabriel threatened family members with a gun. The San Marino Police Department was contacted with a request for assistance. Upon arrival of officers, Gabriel was observed inside the residence holding a dark object and yelling at several people inside the home. Four members of the family ran from the suspect to officers in front of the residence, two children and their grandmother however, remained inside the home.
SMPD personnel removed the residents from the scene, secured the area around the house and requested additional assistance from neighboring police agencies. It was verified that two children and their grandmother were still inside the residence and that Gabriel was armed with a handgun. Gabriel refused repeated orders to exit the home and surrender to police.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB) was contacted to assist. SEB attempted to negotiate the release of the hostages and Gabriel’s surrender, but he again refused to comply. SEB initiated a hostage rescue, during which numerous diversionary devices were utilized and the three remaining family members were safely removed from the residence. The Tribune learned that special agents employed “flash-bangs,” which create pulses of bright light and concussive sounds meant to disorient the suspect. Residents reported the sound made by the devices to The Tribune as well as the presence of low-flying helicopters, which remained on the scene for the majority of the incident.
At about 3:00 a.m., Gabriel exited the residence, but failed to comply with the directions of the SEB personnel. A use of force occurred and when Gabriel continued to resist, a K9 was utilized to disable the suspect. Gabriel was taken into custody and transported to a local hospital for medical treatment.
While executing a search warrant on the car that Gabriel drove to the crime scene, San Marino Police officers found large amounts of cash and the drugs in a rear storage area. The SMPD also learned that Gabriel was at the time free on bail from an arrest the previous week in North Hollywood for possession of Fentanyl, PCP and crystal meth.
A judge has also issued three-year restraining order barring Gabriel from his former residence or having contact with his family. Gabriel and his ex-wife have three pre-teen children. Gabriel must also prove that the money he uses to post bail must have been obtained through legal channels.
Gabriel spent six years in the United States Army, where he earned the Expert Field Medical Badge, or EFMB, one of the most advanced Army special skills badges.
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