SAN ANDREAS – An elderly woman and a deputy were injured during a hostage situation that left the suspect dead Thursday night in Calaveras County.
At about 10:39pm dispatchers received a 911 call regarding an argument between a man and a woman at the Sierra Inn Motel. The caller reported the man had pointed a gun at the woman’s head. Deputies with the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office responded to investigate, but the suspect had left the area before they arrived.
Deputies began searching the area for the suspect, treating the case as a domestic violence incident. As a deputy interviewed the victim at an apartment complex, the suspect ambushed the deputy and victim opening fire and wounding the deputy. The deputy was able to get the victim to safety.
Additional deputies, CHP officers and Angels Camp Police responded to the scene and began searching the apartment complex. The suspect emerged from an apartment holding an elderly woman hostage with a gun. Authorities believe the hostage was unrelated to the initial incident.
Authorities tried to reason with the man and get him to release the hostage, but their efforts did not work. As the suspect posed a threat to the hostage, authorities opened fire. Both the suspect and hostage were wounded during the shooting. The suspect died at the scene, the hostage was transported by air ambulance to a regional trauma center for care.
The ambushed deputy was airlifted as well. Both he and the hostage were expected to survive.
The incident is under investigation by multiple agencies. No further details were released Friday afternoon.
Teen Suffers Head Wound in Highway Shooting, Suspects Arrested
STOCKTON – Investigators with the California Highway Patrol arrested a man suspected of being involved in a shooting that wounded a teen Monday afternoon.
The incident happened shortly after 3:00pm near the area of Highway 99 and Kettleman Lane in Lodi. According to the California Highway Patrol, the driver of a Nissan Altima fired a gun several times at the victim vehicle, striking a teenage passenger in the head. The driver of the victim vehicle drove the teen to Lodi Memorial Hospital for care. Valley Division CHP Investigators responded to work the case.
Moses Mercado, a 21 year old resident of Lodi, was identified as a suspect during the course of the investigation. Investigators located and arrested Mercado after a brief pursuit in South Stockton that ended on South California near Worth Street. A passenger of the Nissan Altima, 21 year old Bella Villanueva of Ripon, was also arrested. Villanueva faces charges of aiding and abetting, conspiracy, and concealing evidence.
Mercado was charged with attempted murder, carrying a loaded firearm with a previous felony conviction, being a felon in possession of a firearm, conspiracy to commit a crime, being a prohibited person in possession of ammunition, and shooting at an inhabited vehicle. He is in custody without bail and due in court on June 30th at 1:30pm.
A third suspect, 29 year old Edgar Hernandez of Stockton, was arrested and charged with carrying a loaded unregistered firearm concealed in a vehicle.
“We want to assure the public that these acts of violence are not random, but are often targeted attacks between parties that know each other,” said Commander Mel Hutsell of the Stockton CHP Office. “We take these types of incidents very seriously and are committed to ensuring public safety.”
Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact CHP Investigations at (916) 731-6300.
Brush Fire Fills Skies with Smoke
SALIDA – A brush fire in the north end of Stanislaus County filled the skies over Modesto and neighboring communities with smoke Monday and Tuesday.
The fire was reported in San Joaquin County initially, but jumped the Stanislaus River late Monday afternoon. The fire burned in heavy brush along the river near the 10100 block of Beckwith Road.
Early indications suggest the fire to have burned 150-200 acres, however at time of publication an exact measurement was not available.
Airport Neighborhood Shooting Investigated
MODESTO – One person was rushed to a hospital after a report of a person shot Monday Afternoon.
The incident happened shortly after 1:30pm near the intersection of Kerr Avenue and Tenaya Drive. An ambulance left with one person and a sheriff deputy following close behind.
The area was closed off with crime scene tape as deputies examined the scene. Evidence technicians and investigators responded as well.
No further details were available at time of publication.
Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office or Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 where callers can remain anonymous.
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