SAN ANDREAS (CBS13) — A hostage situation in San Andreas ended with a deputy and a hostage shot and the suspect being killed, authorities say.
The Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office says the incident started a little after 10:30 p.m. Thursday after dispatchers got a call about an argument between a man and a woman at the Sierra Inn Motel in San Andreas.
“I heard screaming from a woman who was pretty much begging for her life,” said Tamara Zumkeller, who described the start of what would later become a deadly night in San Andreas.
During the incident, the man allegedly pointed a gun at the woman’s head. The suspect had left by the time deputies arrived, however.
A search was then started. The sheriff’s office says the suspect then ambushed a deputy who was interviewing the victim near an apartment complex along the 500 block of Lewis Avenue – with the suspect shooting the deputy. The deputy and the woman were able to get to safety.
Deputies and other law enforcement officers then responded and started searching the apartment complex. Eventually, the suspect emerged from an apartment holding an elderly woman hostage with a gun.
Domestic violence investigation in San Andreas leads to a deputy shot and a hostage standoff at an apartment complex where an innocent woman is shot. Sheriff deputies shoot and kill suspect. Injured hostage and deputy expected to recover. @CBSSacramento @GoodDaySac pic.twitter.com/qAXVvC54na
— Rachel Wulff (@rachelwulff) May 7, 2021
De-escalation tactics were attempted, but the suspect reportedly refused commands. Shots were then fired, with both the suspect and the hostage being hurt.
Ethan Anderson heard the chaos and believed the suspect at one point was hiding near his home. He listened closely, telling his family to stay down as deputies worked to get the man to safely surrender the hostage.
“I heard the officers trying to get somebody to release somebody. Then you hear shots fired and then I heard multiple shots fired,” he said.
The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene, the sheriff’s office says. His name has not been released at this point; however, he was a convicted felon with a long rap sheet from outside the area.
While Calaveras County Sheriff’s Rick DiBasilio originally claimed the suspect had been released early from jail, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation stated the suspect was not part of an early release program.
An air ambulance flew the injured hostage to the hospital. She is expected to survive. The deputy who was originally shot by the suspect is also expected to recover.
“I want to commend deputies for saving the life of [the] victim and hostage, they provided emergency medical before crews got there,” said Greg Stark with the Calaveras County Sheriffs Office.
A multi-agency investigation is now underway.
Zumkeller reflected on the chaotic night, wondering how a quiet San Andreas became the center of a wild deadly shooting.
“It was heartbreaking, really, like I don’t think I’ll ever forget that,” she said. “It was really sad. I hope she is doing.”