San Jose standoff suspect identified

January 17, 2009 7:19:01 PM PST
San Jose police Saturday identified the man who apparently shot himself inside a city gas station Friday after exchanging gunfire with officers.

Curtis Burleson, 23, of Washington state, died inside a USA Gasoline station at the northwest corner of McLaughlin Avenue and Capitol Expressway, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.

Officers first encountered Burleson during a routine vehicle check Friday morning that showed the 2006 Ford Taurus was confirmed stolen out of Washington state. When an officer approached the vehicle at Tuers Road and Capitol Expressway, Burleson exited the car and attacked the officer, police said. Burleson took the officer's gun and fired shots, police said.

Burleson then returned to his vehicle and drove down the street to the gas station, colliding with a vehicle on Capitol Express way on the way, according to police reports. He exchanged gunfire with two officers in the parking lot, before entering the gas station's store.

Police evacuated nearby businesses and homes and a SWAT Team and special operations team arrived to assist.

The special operations officers broke windows and used concussion grenades, designed to disorient targets with loud noise and bright flashes. Roughly six hours later, according to the police report, officers entered the gas station and found Burleson dead in a back bathroom, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The officer's stolen gun was also located on the premises.

Police said they found a ballistic helmet, bulletproof vest and several high-capacity bullet magazines in the trunk of Burleson's stolen car.