Modesto Hostage Situation Ends in Shooting

Modesto, CA– Modesto Police standoff ends with the armed suspect confronting SWAT officers during rescue.

The long overnight ordeal began on Wednesday March 20th, at about 6 P.M., when Modesto Police officers were called to a residence in the 1600 block of Evona Court, in northwest Modesto, on a report of a domestic violence. The initial caller indicated a male suspect had physically assault his wife. The husband and wife were described as a couple in their eighties. 

When officers arrived on scene, they learned the suspect was armed with a handgun and was preventing his wife from leaving the home. Officers attempted to speak with the male, however, he refused to exit the home and began to threaten to shoot the officers. 

The Modesto Police Department’s Hostage Negotiators arrived and began to attempt to communicate with the suspect and convince him to surrender peacefully. The suspect refused to cooperate and continued to threaten to shoot officers. The suspect was also seen holding a gun in his hand as he walked around inside the home. Members of the SWAT team began to evacuate nearby residents for precautionary purposes as negotiations continued. 

As time passed, the suspect’s behavior became more erratic, hostile and agitated. He continued to make threats to shoot officers, continued holding the gun in his hand and began to make threats to burn down the house.

Investigators learned the female had severe medical conditions and was in need of medical care. Officers were able to speak to the female and learned she had been physically immobilized and was pleading for help. It became evident her condition was deteriorating and, therefore, the decision was made to rescue her and remove her from further harm.    

At about 4:20 A.M., SWAT team members entered the home and were conducting a hostage rescue of the elderly victim. The suspect, who was still armed with a gun, confronted the officers mid-rescue. An officer-involved shooting took place and the suspect was shot.  The elderly woman was immediately removed from the home and transported to a local hospital where she was stabilized and treated for her existing medical conditions. The armed suspect died as a result of the shooting.    

Three separate and independent investigations have been launched into this incident, which is a standard protocol for any officer-involved shooting investigation in Stanislaus County.  The Modesto Police Department will be conducting a criminal investigation into this incident, Stanislaus County District Attorney’s office will be conducting an independent criminal review of the incident and the officers’ actions, and the Modesto Police Department’s Internal Affairs Unit will be conducting an administrative investigation into the circumstances surrounding the shooting. 

None of the officers involved were injured during this incident. The two officers involved in the shooting were placed on paid administrative leave, which is also standard procedure after an officer is involved in a shooting incident.