FORESTHILL (CBS13) — Shots were fired at Placer County sheriff’s deputies in Foresthill this morning, from a burning home.
It happened as they were serving a search warrant at a home on Baltimore Mine Road.
Deputies say the suspect barricaded himself and set his home on fire, while he was still inside. Deputies now believe the suspect may be dead inside.
It was a nerve-racking few hours for one dad who dropped his daughter off at Foresthill High School Tuesday morning. The burning home at the center of the standoff was less than a mile away from his daughter’s school.
“I was coming down Foresthill Road, and I saw a caravan of SWAT vehicles, sheriff’s and an ambulance and I’m like ‘OK what’s this all about?’” wondered David Croteau.
Croteau was dropping his daughter off when his morning quickly turned into panic. After he left the high school, he began receiving messages from his daughter, saying she heard gunshots and an explosion.
“There were sheriff’s on the campus, and they were locking down the school, and we didn’t know what was going on,” said Croteau.
School officials say Foresthill High School and Foresthill Divide Middle School sheltered in place, after receiving a call of a search warrant happening nearby on Baltimore Mine Road.
“We surrounded the house, ordered him to come out, he refused. A little while later a fire broke out in the living room, it continued to grow, several rounds were fired from the house towards our deputies,” said Lt. Andrew Scott of the Placer County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies surrounded the suspect’s home as firefighters stood back, waiting for the blaze to burn out on its own.
“Because we know he was firing rounds at us, we know there’s ammunition in there, and we don’t wanna send either fire or our detectives in there when there’s a possibility of unspent ammunition in the fire,” Lt. Scott added.
Deputies didn’t shoot back at the suspect, but they believe he never left the home after setting it on fire.
Croteau is still shaken up by the incident and says the sheriff’s office could have served the warrant before school hours.
“This property was just too close to the school, and too many school children in the area,” Croteau said.
Deputies will return to what’s left of the home Wednesday morning to continue their investigation and possibly recover the suspect’s body.