'My fatherly instincts kicked in': LA County deputy discusses comforting girl who left tear-gassed car

When a Los Angeles County deputy saw a 9-year-old girl walk out of a tear-gassed car in Diamond Bar, he knew exactly what to do.

"Being a father of three myself," said deputy Darell Edwards. "Seeing that child exit the car. My fatherly instincts kicked in."

On Tuesday night, Edwards was seen picking up and comforting the 9-year-old girl after the girl's mom -- the driver of the red Nissan sedan -- was involved in a high-speed chase and an hours-long standoff.

During the standoff, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department fired rubber bullets, placed a drone over the suspect car, called K9 units and SWAT responded to the scene. All while the little girl was sitting inside the car.

Prior to the standoff, the girl's mother led deputies on a high-speed chase across the Inland Empire, but not before hitting, side-swiping and smashing numerous cars before the red Nissan was totaled after crashing into another vehicle on Diamond Bar Boulevard. 

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: 9-year-old girl exits tear-gassed car after her mom leads LASD on chase, crashing into numerous cars

LASD said Tuesday night that deputies had no idea the little girl was inside the car during the standoff. Despite concerns about the suspect driver possibly being armed, Edwards said all he could think about was making sure the girl was OK.

"We typically don't leave our cover to go to a suspect. At the point we saw that it wasn't a suspect, it was an innocent person," Edwards said. "All I wanted to do -- and my partner supported me by blocking for me --  is move over to the little girl, again my fatherly instincts, pick her up, comfort her and get her back off to safety. I really didn't concern myself much for the threat from that vehicle. It was grabbing a hold of that little girl and get her out of harm's way."

"She was crying, grabbing a hold of me," the LA County deputy added. "I told her it was OK."

Both the girl and her mother were taken to the hospital after the standoff. Both are expected to be OK.

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