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Crystal Cathedral gunman kills self


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Police set up a perimeter around the Crystal Cathedral in California.
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Crystal Cathedral

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- A nine-hour standoff between police and a church worker, who opened fire in the Crystal Cathedral complex, ended early Friday when the man shot and killed himself, police said.

Lt. Mike Handfield with the Garden Grove Police Department said that Johnnie Wayne Carl, 57, a church musical director, committed suicide in one of the bathroom areas at 1:58 a.m. (4:58 a.m. ET).

Police called in a SWAT team and set up a perimeter around the sprawling Orange County complex after shots were fired in the building Thursday afternoon, Handfield said.

Handfield said that Carl made suicidal comments throughout negotiations with police as officials tried to get him to surrender and that he had a history of mental illness.

Carl fled the office where he had been holed up throughout the night as police approached, barricading himself in a bathroom before taking his life, Handfield said.

Televangelist Dr. Robert Schuller, the founder of the Crystal Cathedral, had come to the church earlier and tried to help resolve the situation, police said.

During the holiday season, the cathedral hosts a live Nativity pageant, "The Glory of Christmas," that draws a large number of visitors. However, the shooting incident took place nearly two hours before the first show of the night.

The church, with a sanctuary that seats nearly 2,900 people, opened in 1980 and features more than 10,000 windows of silver-colored glass that give the cathedral its name.

Schuller broadcasts his weekly "Hour of Power" television show from the facility in suburban Garden Grove.

CNN's Erika Snider contributed to this report.


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