SAN ANDREAS (CBS13) — Witnesses described moments of panic, last words from the suspect and cries from the victim following a hostage situation in Calaveras County.
The situation began Thursday night. Deputies were called to the Sierra Inn Motel in San Andreas where a woman claimed a man pointed a gun at her head.READ MORE: 'I Have No Words': Hero's Family Speechless As He's Receives Carnegie Medal
Tamara Zumkeller was staying there and said she could hear the fear.
“I heard screaming from a woman who was pretty much begging for her life. Then I heard a bigger commotion and someone trying to get a gun away from whoever had it,” Zumkeller said.
For law enforcement, this was the beginning of a chaotic domestic violence investigation. The male suspect ambushed and shot a deputy who was interviewing the female victim. Shortly after, the suspect would take a random elderly woman hostage.
Deputies said they tried to talk the suspect down, but he wouldn’t listen. A neighbor, who asked to be anonymous, told CBS13 she heard the suspect’s final words.
“He was going, ’let me talk to my wife, let me talk to my wife,’ and then she ran out, and then, ‘no, don’t, no, I love you, I love you,’ and then boom, it was over,” she said.READ MORE: Assemblyman Says Local Tribes Will Help Design Native American Memorial At State Capitol
Deputies shot the suspect to protect the elderly hostage.
The suspect shot a deputy in the upper body and that deputy is expected to survive. He’s been with the Calaveras County Sheriff’s office for 14 months.
The suspect had recently served time in prison. Officials with the Department of Corrections said he served his full term with credits for good behavior – a reminder that domestic violence calls are notoriously unpredictable for officers.
“A lot of times they don’t know what they’re walking into, but they do it with a brave face and take all their training with them and that’s all we can ask for,” said Stacy Runyen, the president of Back the Badge Yuba-Sutter.
Now, a lengthy recovery and investigation begin.MORE NEWS: Thousands In Attendance For Return Of California Capital Airshow
“My heart goes out to the deputies. Something like this, something they’re going to carry around for the rest of their life, an extremely stressful situation,” said Sgt. Greg Stark with the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office.