SANTA MONICA - A 47-year-old armed man who was holed up overnight in his house in Santa Monica as SWAT officers surrounded the home was found dead today of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.

Police officers were sent to the 2900 block of Delaware Avenue just before 5 p.m. Tuesday after the suspect's 15-year-old son managed to escape from the house and call 911, said Santa Monica police Sgt. Richard Lewis.

The boy reported that his father, who was armed with a handgun, had taken him and his 86-year-old grandmother hostage inside the house, where all three were living along with the man's estranged wife, Lewis said.

SWAT team officers found the man dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in a bedroom when they entered the home about 4 a.m. today, Lewis said. Authorities withheld his name, pending notification of next of kin.

The situation arose from a domestic quarrel between the man and his wife, who was not at home when the crisis began, Lewis said.

Santa Monica and Beverly Hills police SWAT teams surrounded the house and evacuated neighbors in a roughly square-block area, Lewis said.

The man's mother-in-law emerged from the house unharmed around 9:50 p.m. Tuesday and was interviewed by police after being examined by Santa Monica paramedics, Lewis said.

"We have been in communication with him most of the evening," Lewis had said late Tuesday. "We are just trying to get him to come out."