SAN ANDREAS (CBS13) – On Monday, we got our first look at the man investigators say is responsible for a deadly hostage situation and shootout in Calaveras County.

Mark Lavea, 47 (credit: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation)

Investigators say 47-year-old Mark Lavea, of Modesto, had been in and out of prison for a host of crimes. His most recent was in 2019 – a domestic violence incident where he was sentenced to six years in prison. So the big question now is why was he out?

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Lavea’s rap sheet dates back to 1989 for crimes including assault with a deadly weapon, burglary, child cruelty, elder abuse, battery, auto theft and domestic violence.

According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Lavea received a variety of credits while serving his six-year sentence, allowing him to walk free last December.

The Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office says last week’s deadly encounter started at the Sierra Inn where witnesses reported Lavea pointed a gun at his wife. Deputy Jonathan Brown later interviewed the wife at her apartment complex when Lavea opened fire, hitting Brown, before taking that elderly woman hostage.

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Lavea was shot and killed. Deputies say the hostage may have been hit by ricochets and shrapnel from the shootout, but who she was shot by is still unclear.

“There’s no reason for her to be involved, he just found her back window open,” witness Doug Sanders said.

Both Deputy Brown and the hostage are expected to be okay.

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Court records show Lavea’s wife filed for custody and child support last November and there was an unserved restraining order against him from last month.

Adrienne Moore