Suspect found dead after 5 hour standoff

January 16, 2009 11:04:41 PM PST
The incident started shortly after 9 a.m. at San Jose's Gould Center at McLaughlin Avenue and Capitol Expressway when the driver of a stolen vehicle attacked a San Jose police officer when the officer approached the car. In the struggle, the suspect managed to grab the officer's weapon and opened fire.

"The officer was basically in a fight for his life; his gun somehow got dislodged, at which point the suspect got a hold of it and immediately started firing rounds at the officer," San Jose Police Department spokesperson Sergeant Mike Sullivan said.

The officer was not hit and a second officer opened fire on the man as he ran away, possibly hitting him.

The wounded man ran into a USA gas station, two clerks fled and the five hour standoff began. There was dramatic SWAT action with the police MERGE team. Police made several attempts to contact the holed up gunman, with no success.

"What's taking them so long," eyewitness Rosairo Fernandez asked. "If there are any hostages, that's reasonable, but if not, they should just go in there and get him."

At 3 p.m., police confirmed the wounded gunman was dead and no longer a threat. A later investigation found that the suspect apparently died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

"We have to protect so we have to lock things down; we have to evacuate businesses, we have to evacuate homes, and we even actually locked down three schools nearby, just to be extra safe," Sullivan said. "We would rather error on the side of caution than have someone get hurt."