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Tarek El Moussa ‘Jumped Over the Fence,’ Christina Was ‘Crying and Shaking’ in Alarming Pre-Split Gun Incident

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In the hours since Tarek and Christina El Moussa announced their split on Monday, new details of a harrowing altercation this spring are emerging.

The Flip or Flop stars referenced the incident in their statement to PEOPLE, noting that “like many couples, we have had challenges in our marriage.”

“We had an unfortunate misunderstanding about six months ago and the police were called to our house in an abundance of caution,” the statement continued. “There was no violence and no charges were filed.”

According to officials, police responded to a call of a “possibly suicidal male with a gun” at approximately 3:45 p.m. on May 23. Eleven officers were dispatched to the Chino Hills State Park Main Ridge Trail.

One of the officers made contact with a witness who was working at the house next door and claimed he saw Tarek “run out of his back door” and “jump over his back fence” before making his way towards the hiking trail.

According to the witness, Tarek’s wife Christina was “crying and shaking” as she ran to the residence and informed him that Tarek “took a handgun, put it in his backpack and ran outside.” Christina said she had already called 911.

Upon learning that Tarek, 35, had a handgun on the hiking trail, deputies then called for helicopter assistance. The helicopter responded “within minutes” and located Tarek on the mountainside, giving him verbal commands via the PA speaker.

According to officials, Tarek complied, was escorted back to his residence and was “compliant and cooperated with deputies.”

Deputies then spoke with another witness, Shannon Rhodes, who appears to be Christina’s hair and makeup artist. Rhodes told officials she was in Tarek and Christina’s bedroom when she saw Tarek take a gun out of the safe, place it in his backpack and leave the residence. According to Rhodes, Tarek “seemed upset” and when she tried to talk to him, he would not respond, though she maintained Tarek did not make any threatening statements to her, nor did he make any comments about hurting himself. 

Rhodes then called Christina, 33, and told her to leave the residence because Tarek had a gun. According to officials, Christina confirmed that she received a call from a friend at about 3:30 p.m. informing her that Tarek had taken a gun and left the residence. Christina denied to officials that Tarek had ever been suicidal.

Deputies then spoke to Tarek, who stated he did not have any intentions of hurting himself and did not make any suicidal comments. He said he wanted to “blow off some steam” so he went hiking into the hills. According to officials, he stated he took his gun for safety because of mountain lions and rattlesnakes in the area.

Tarek agreed to voluntarily relinquish all of his firearms for safekeeping for 30 days. Deputies removed five guns from the safe, and Tarek signed the property release form.

On Monday, Tarek deleted a video from his Instagram account that showed him firing off a gun at a shooting range.

“#Military #stylecustom built #AR15!!!” he captioned the post, which was shared one week ago. “Absolutely #lovethis thing!!!! #camo paint is awesome!”

On Monday, an insider told PEOPLE the HGTV stars — who have been married for seven years and share two kids together — “seemed wildly incompatible” in a lot of ways.

“She has champagne tastes, and he’s a beer-from-a-can kind of guy,” said the source. “That was okay for a while when all they could afford was canned beer — they were on the same page, working together to make it and to do the best with what they had. But the stardom from the show, and the money from the show, meant that she started to feel like she could finally have some of the finer things in life.”

Of Tarek, the source added: “He just couldn’t or didn’t want to keep up.”