MODESTO (CBS13) – The district attorney’s office says they’ve found a Stanislaus County SWAT deputy’s shooting of a hostage situation suspect in June 2019 justified.
Jose Astorga, 37, was the suspect killed in the shooting, which happened at a home on Olivero Road.
Deputies responded to investigate a report about an armed man who broke into a house. Deputies who got to the scene saw a man grab a boy and pull him back into the home.
Another child who had ran out of the home told deputies that a strange man armed with a shotgun had broken in. A different child who had also escaped told deputies that the man looked to be on drugs.
Several hostages were in the home before deputies arrived. All but a 14-year-old boy managed to escape.
The sheriff’s SWAT and Hostage Negotiation teams surrounded the house and, after several hours of trying to talk with Astorga, officers were able to rescue the 14-year-old boy and get him away from the house. During that process, Astorga was killed.
In the district attorney’s letter on their findings, they revealed more details about the hostage situation:
“During the standoff the 14-year-old boy was able to get to a window and attempt to climb out. The boy’s head was covered with some kind of material and a jacket that were placed over his head by Astorga, so he was having a difficult time escaping from the window. Astorga could be seen grabbing the boy and attempting to pull him back into the house. Several members of the SWAT team raced to the window and tried to pull the boy out of Astorga’s clutches. The boy would later say, if he ‘was pulled back in he would not have lived.'”
It was then that a SWAT team member shot Astorga.
A loaded 12-gauge shotgun was later recovered inside the home.
Read the full letter from the Stanislaus County DA’s office here.