Grover Beach police arrest gunman after SWAT standoff


Grover Beach Police arrested a 32-year-old man early Monday morning after allegedly shooting a gun into the air and detaining two other people against their will in his garage.

According to a police press release, officers responded to the 1200 block of Seabright Avenue at around 1:50 a.m. with reports of a gunman. The man – later identified as Gabriel Benjamin Epp of Grover Beach – had discharged a handgun and allegedly detained two other adult men against their will, the statement said.

When the police arrived, they determined that the two had managed to escape from the house where Epp was still staying. Agents from the departments of Grover Beach, Pismo Beach and Arroyo Grande all helped establish a perimeter around the residence, the statement said.

The preliminary investigation revealed that Epp had drunk alcohol while armed and fired shots in the air outside the residence, police said. According to the statement, he then pointed the gun at the other two men, whom he knew, and threatened them with serious bodily harm if they attempted to leave the home’s garage.

Grover Beach said Gabriel Benjamin Epp fired the above handgun into the air as he stood outside his home early Monday morning. Grover Beach Police Department

At one point he was distracted and the couple were able to escape.

The San Luis Obispo County Regional SWAT also responded to the incident. At around 4:30 a.m., officers were able to contact Epp through an armored vehicle’s speaker system and convince him to surrender, the statement said.

Epp was taken into custody where he was held in the county jail for false imprisonment, discharging a gun through gross negligence, shooting a gun at another person, and criminal threats.

As of mid-morning Monday, he was still in custody on bail set at $ 50,000.

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Kaytlyn Leslie writes on business and development for The San Luis Obispo Tribune. Hailing from Nipomo, she also covers municipal governments and events in the South County area including Arroyo Grande, Pismo Beach, and Grover Beach. She joined The Tribune in 2013 after graduating in journalism from Cal Poly.